Karen Stoffer's second qualifying run of 7.084 secured her the top spot heading into the second day of qualifying in the Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
Running in cooler temperatures for the evening run Friday, Stoffer bested her time of 7.130 on her first qualifying run.
With just three races left before the Countdown to the Championship, Stoffer wants to make a move this weekend and put a little less pressure on herself heading to Indianapolis in two weeks. She found herself on the bump spot, in 10th place, heading into this weekends race.
"I've been through this at a more crucial time last year with Hector (Arana)," she said. "That was the race to determine going into the top 10 so I'm hoping it won't be like that. It's a critical race but my hope is to turn it around here so we don't have to go into Indy being in that type of situation. I want to separate myself from Michael Phillips a little bit."
After the second round, Arana dropped from the top spot into second, followed by Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines. Shawn Gann finished fifth.
After the first round of qualifying, Arana led the field with a top time of 7.084 seconds. Arana drove his cycle 186.87 mph to put himself in the top position.
Arana has qualified in the No. 1 one spot twice this season. He took the top spot at Englishtown and at Denver. In the last race at Sonoma, he qualified sixth.
Eddie Krawiec, who drives one of the Screaming Eagle Harley Davidsons, currently is in the top spot for the Countdown. He has the No. 2 spot with a qualifying run of 7.128 and a speed of 187.13 mph.
Matt Smith captured the first-place finish at BIR last year and ran sixth with a time of 7.185. Shawn Gann started this weekend in the ninth spot just ahead of Stoffer. Both drivers had great qualifying runs, with Stoffer taking the third spot and Gann finishing fourth.
Stoffer came through in the second qualifying run and put herself in the top spot.
"It's really nice to have a good pass, there's no such thing as a great pass, but it was pretty near to it so that was nice," she said. "The track out here was really phenomenal. It is smooth and they have done a lot of work on it.
"You can see it in the elapsed times of the bikes. I was surprised that we held on. We had the Screaming Eagles and Hector Arana behind us. It shows in the quality of our motor, and the team has done a good job."
Stoffer will spend Saturday looking to solidify her spot for Sunday's elimination rounds, but she will also be able to take time for the fans and sponsors that support her.
"I like to socialize between runs and I am probably one of the people that is out in between runs the most talking and networking with the fans because it keeps my mind on what's important," Stoffer said. "It's the fans. You figure what we do out on the track takes seven seconds and that's it, but talking to the kids, families and sponsors lasts a lifetime."
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