GEICO Powersports rider Karen Stoffer exited the 26th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway Sunday in the first round of eliminations. Stoffer red-lighted against red-hot rider L.E. Tonglet
Stoffer knew she had a tough opponent in Tonglet, who has won the last three races in a row, and perhaps that played into her leaving the starting line -.015 seconds before the green light, an automatic disqualification. Even without the red light, Tonglet posted a 6.860 at 193.02 mph, a pass that was .05 seconds quicker than anything Stoffer ran all weekend.
“You hate to lose on a red light,” Stoffer said. “He put up a great number, no doubt, but it would have been a close race. We had our best 60-foot time of the weekend that pass and that always contributes to the lights.
“It’s hard to open against the hottest rider in the class but they’re all tough at this level. It doesn’t matter who you race. We’ll load, up, head out west to our part of the world, and try again in Las Vegas.”