The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil carries a different meaning for every drag racer. This year’s 56th edition of the NHRA’s most cherished event represents a clean slate for Karen Stoffer, rider of the GEICO Powersports Suzuki.
Stoffer has weathered some real peaks and valleys this season, but despite it all, still qualified for the Countdown to the Championship in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Now that the Full Throttle points have been reset, Indy is a chance at a new start for Stoffer and the GEICO Powersports team.
“It’s a new beginning,” Stoffer said. “It’s like Ashley Force Hood said after Brainerd, we get to put the regular season behind us and go into Indy with a fresh start. It’s time to move forward and capitalize on this new opportunity.”
Stoffer said the team tested following the last national event in Brainerd, Minn., and was able to find some combinations that really seem to work.
“We thought we had everything figured out leaving Denver when we went to the finals,” Stoffer said. “But there’s always ways to get better. In testing, we think we found some things that will help us keep that bike going straight.”
Stoffer is in ninth place in the Pro Stock Motorycle standings, 100 points behind leader Andrew Hines, and has recently been drawing inspiration from Funny Car driver Robert Hight, who won the championship last year from the No. 10 spot in the Countdown.
“We have the chance now to make an earnest run to the championship,” Stoffer said. “I’ve thought about what Robert did for the last six or eight races. Even if we make the Countdown in the bottom half, we can win the championship. It’s been proven.
“He’s been an inspiration for us. We just need to keep our heads down and keep the bike going straight.”
Qualifying for the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil begins at 5:30 p.m. EDT Friday at O’Reilly Raceway Park. It continues with four total sessions on Saturday and Sunday with eliminations beginning 11 a.m. EDT on Monday