Friday, June 10, 2011

Points leader Karen Stoffer collects runner-up result, just .0002 seconds away from a win

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 5) – Another day, another trip to the money round for Karen Stoffer and the GEICO Suzuki.

Stoffer finished as runner-up at Sunday’s 42nd annual NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, her third runner-up result of the season, and extended her lead in the Full Throttle Pro Stock Motorcycle points.

“I’m not looking at points right now,” Stoffer said. “I’m just looking at how consistent the bike can be. You look at our ETs and you look at the bike going straight. Whatever outcome we get because of that, we’re going to get.”
The only thing Stoffer didn’t get in E-town was a better light than opponent Matt Smith in the final, losing on a miniscule holeshot. Smith got a slight advantage at the line (a .023-second reaction time to a .035 by Stoffer) but his elapsed time was slower than Stoffer’s as he ran a 6.900 second lap at 191.73 mph to Stoffer’s 6.889-second lap. The race was a dead heat to three decimal places but Smith ultimately took the victory by .0002 seconds, or about one inch.

“I really didn’t have a bad light,” Stoffer said. “It was where we wanted to be and where we put the bike. Consistency got us to that final and got us to where we are in points, so we weren’t going to go away from that.

“I’m sure Matt saw me, because I saw him the whole way down. I was getting tucked in as far as I can to scrub off the time. If we stick to this consistent game plan, maybe one of those pewter Wallys will come our way.”

On the way to the final, Stoffer defeated GT Tonglet, Michael Phillips, and Gerald Savoie with ETs that were either first or second quickest in each round.

She now leads the Pro Stock Motorcycle standings by 43 points over Andrew Hines.

Stoffer’s GEICO teammate Morgan Lucas reached the second round in Top Fuel for the second time in the last seven races.

“We made four out of six runs down the track, which is a good improvement,” Lucas said. “We’re going the right direction with the car. We’ve got to get a little more ET and speed out of the car, but that will come in time.”

In Round 1, Lucas and the GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster ran a 3.870 second pass at 316.52 mph to beat teammate Shawn Langdon, who ran a 3.981 at 306.88 mph in the Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster.

“We won that round legitimately,” he said. “We didn’t do it in a pedaling contest or anything.”

In the second round, Lucas fell to eventual race winner Spencer Massey, who crossed the line in 3.807 seconds at 320.51 mph against Lucas’ 4.507 at 175.82 mph run.

“Spencer has a good car and we knew we had to go for it,” Lucas said. “We just didn’t hang on tough enough. However we made it farther down that lane than anybody else that session.”

Up next on the NHRA Full Throttle Series schedule is the June 17-19 Ford Thunder Valley Nationals from Bristol Dragway.


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