In her first season with Jerry Savoie’s White Alligator Racing in 2019, Karen Stoffer was happy with the results. She finished a career-best fourth in the points standings on a Suzuki.
“We’re back and we have the same setup, everything is the same (for 2020),” Staffer said. “(Last year’s finish in the points) was probably some of the motivation to come back. We definitely had a good season. I’m hoping to improve upon that. I’m focusing a little bit more on my riding and continuing to support Tim (Kulungian, Stoffer’s crew chief) and anything I can do as a rider to help him be able to tune the bike. Jerry (Savoie, who finished second in the points) obviously had a fantastic year as well and he’s going to be gunning for a championship and anything I can do to assist I will do, but I will still try and win one myself.”
With two races left last year, Stoffer was second in the points standings. She lost in the first round at Las Vegas and the semis at the season-ending race in Pomona, Calif., to drop two spots in the points.
“I really want to try and get in the top three (in the points),” said Stoffer, who placed a career-best fifth in the points in 2012 before last year. “I’ve always had a goal of top 5 or better and now I’m shooting for a little bit higher. I’m going to work hard. It’s going to be an interesting year as they always are but that’s my goal (to be in the top three). I’ve been fourth through 10th points now.”
Stoffer had one win in St. Louis last year, beating eventual world champion Andrew Hines, and was a runner-up in Chicago and Charlotte, N.C., in the fall.
“We gelled very quickly last year, and they are a very good team to gel with,” Stoffer said. “They were very easy to work with and we are very open and clear with each other. It worked out really well, so I don’t know if anything there will change because again, we adapted and gelled together very quickly last year. I think maybe being there for a year I know what to expect and how to do things. We started out a little bit slower last year and I’m hoping that we can start out a little bit quicker this year.”
Stoffer said she did make a couple of test hits March 9 at Bradenton (Fla.) Motorsports Park.
“I was mostly working on me, I’m trying to do a couple of things differently,” Stoffer said. “We made two hits and we were only doing partial (runs) like 300 feet just to try something different and try things out. We are ready to go.”
Stoffer has nine career PSM national event wins, including two in Gainesville – 2007 and 2015.
“I love Gainesville,” Stoffer said. “It is a great facility and being the first race after having the offseason, you’re excited and energetic and you want to get out to the racetrack. Not only do I like Gainesville because we have done fairly well there, but it’s also kind of like my second home. My original team owners lived here, and we spent a lot of time here back in the Geico days. It’s a comfortable place to go.”