This weekend's Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a "home game" for GEICO Suzuki rider Karen Stoffer.

Stoffer lives in Minden, Nev., about 420 miles northwest of Las Vegas. So the Pro Stock Motorcycle veteran knows she'll have plenty of support at Vegas this weekend.

"It'd be nice to win at our home track," Stoffer said. "All these tracks on the West Coast are really my home tracks because I raced them a lot in Division 7. For (crew chief/husband) Gary (Stoffer) and I, we have a lot of Division 7 supporters out there, and a lot of family and friends. Plus, Vegas is a really nice track. It's going to be a big weekend.

"It's nice to be close to home. It's nice to go to these tracks and have your family and friends support you."

Stoffer has fond memories of Las Vegas, but they don't include gambling in the casinos that made the city famous.

"I was born and raised to Southern California, and we often made trips to Vegas," Stoffer said. "When I turned 21, my family took me to Vegas. I had saved my money to go and gamble. But when you live there and you can walk across the street to the closest casino, it's not as appealing and enticing. I frequent them more for the food and the other excursions they have, rather than putting money in the slot machines."

Stoffer is fourth in the Pro Stock Motorcycle points standings after a career season. She's won one race and reached the finals four other times. A series of mysterious mechanical problems has plagued the GEICO team in the Countdown to the Championship, but Stoffer still hopes to close out the season on a strong note.

"We'll be under the same conditions as Phoenix. It'll be dry, hot, and it's going to cater to the V motors again," Stoffer said. "It's a challenge, but the good Lord puts challenges on those who can handle it. We have a good team, we all stick together."