Drag Illustrated Issue 176, May / June 2022 - Page 108

Karen Stoffer

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MAKES HER MARK

BY RYAN MURRAY PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICK BELDEN AND JOE MCHUGH
Women of Power 2022
F THIS season is truly the last , at least on a full-time

I and regular Jbasis , for Pro Stock Motorcycle veteran Karen Stoffer , she ’ s already off to quite the final year . She made history in Gainesville , shattering the record book and becoming the first rider in class history to reach the 6.60s , and it ’ s put Stoffer in line to compete for a world championship .

The Nclosest she ’ s been before Owas fourth in 2019 and fifth in 2012 and 2021 , but Stoffer set unbelievable records and then won in Gainesville to give her plenty of momentum this year .

She ’ s hinted that the 2022 NHRA season may be her last as a full-time participant , but as a championship contender , Stoffer is still enjoying everything about competing , especially when it

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comes to being on the White Alligator Racing
team Suzuki . “ I ’ m just grateful and happy . It ’ s a happy bike and it ’ s so much fun to ride ,” Stoffer says . “ I ’ m so blessed and thankful to be able to ride it all the time . I ’ m grateful every time the bike goes a little faster , and it is truly a fun bike to ride . I ’ m definitely enjoying every moment we have like this .”
She savored every bit of the historic weekend in Gainesville , starting with the mind-blowing run of 6.665-seconds at 200.71 during the second round of eliminations – after being the first to the 6.60s in the opening round – and ending with a victory . Stoffer didn ’ t race in 2020 due to COVID , but her 2021 and 2022 thus far have been truly rewarding .
She won in Sonoma and then went to three straight finals to end last year , following it up with the Gainesville victory and a No . 1 qualifier in Houston . It ’ s been a worthwhile bow in a career that has been filled with plenty of success .
“ It solidifies that you can step off a winning bike and wait a full offseason , then step right back on and get up there again ,” Stoffer says of her Gainesville win . “ The engine program is working good . The tuning ’ s good with [ crew chief ] Tim [ Kulungian ], and I ’ m riding well . The whole package is definitely a dream come true .”
However her season ends , Stoffer will look back at 2022 and her career fondly , and with good reason .
No , she hasn ’ t had the success of fellow PSM female Angelle Sampey , a three-time world champion , but even if Stoffer doesn ’ t manage to win that elusive world title this year , she ’ s enjoyed plenty of success and helped carve a path for fellow female competitors .
Pro Stock star Erica Enders called Stoffer a hero , while PSM ’ s infusion of female talent in recent seasons is certainly a nod to class trailblazers like Stoffer and Sampey . It ’ s something that brings a smile to Stoffer ’ s face , and thanks to her weekend in Gainesville , she ’ s also a big part of Pro Stock Motorcycle history .
“ I ’ ve never in the NHRA – and I ’ ve been a longtime member from way back when – been the first in anything ,” Stoffer says . “ I wasn ’ t the first female in the class . I wasn ’ t the first 200- mph racer in the class . I wasn ’ t the first rider to make a 6-second run . So to get that and be the first in the 6.60s , it ’ s huge to me DI.”
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108 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 176