2011 defending Pro Stock Motorcycle Mile-High NHRA Nationals winner Karen Stoffer returns to Bandimere Speedway this weekend in hopes of securing another victory on her GEICO Suzuki.
Stoffer beat Shawn Gann, Jerry Savoie, Eddie Krawiec and Michael Phillips en route to her sixth career victory last year in Denver. In 2010, she fell to Andrew Hines in the finals.
“We’re going back to a track where we did well last year,” Stoffer said. “Hopefully, we can do well again. We’ve got to turn this season around if we want to stay in the top 10. We certainly have to make some moves now and get our game straight.”
Stoffer is sixth in the points standings after six races, winning at least one round in all but one event of 2012. Still, the veteran racer hopes for more, and Denver could be the place where she and crew chief Gary Stoffer post their best performance.
The longtime GEICO racer won’t be intimidated by Denver’s altitude, where the thinner air results in three-tenths of a second slower elapsed-time runs compared to other tracks for the naturally aspirated machines.
“I’m from the West coast, and I live in a high-altitude area near Lake Tahoe,” Stoffer said. “I’m not too scared of the altitude. Gary is used to tuning at altitude, and we have a high-altitude track where Gary races his bracket car. He knows what it’s like, and we did well last year, so we’ll pull up last year’s tuneup and work from there. Hopefully, the weather will be the same, because that always helps, and I’ll get back on my game.”
The forecast calls for temperatures in the 90 degree ranges all three days, cooler than the scorching conditions in Norwalk, Ohio, where Stoffer posted her best qualifying effort of the 2012 season, snagging fourth.
“We’re going to put that GEICO bike down the track well, and I’m going to do my job riding well and Gary’s going to do his job tuning. Hopefully, we’ll go four rounds again on Sunday.” — Karen Stoffer