Topeka: Scott Geoffrion preview

Geoffrion familiar with success at Topeka TOPEKA, Kan., May 21, 2003 - Scott Geoffrion is happy to be going to Heartland Park Topeka this weekend. He arrives for the O'Reilly Summer Nationals following a wild race at Englishtown, N.J., where...

Geoffrion familiar with success at Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan., May 21, 2003 - Scott Geoffrion is happy to be going to Heartland Park Topeka this weekend.

He arrives for the O'Reilly Summer Nationals following a wild race at Englishtown, N.J., where his career bests in elapsed time (6.728 seconds) and speed (204.82 mph) qualified him ninth overall in Pro Stock's quickest field.

Geoffrion doesn't expect those kinds of numbers here. It took cool, overcast skies and a superb racing surface to pull out the blistering times in New Jersey. The Heartland Park Pro Stock record, for example, is 6.846 seconds.

"Going into Topeka the weather should be about 75 to 80 degrees and there's some altitude at the track," said the driver of Hurley Blakeney's Nitro Fish Ford Escort ZX2.

"We'll be going from running in the low 6.70s one week to running in the mid-6.80s the next.

"I'm looking forward to Topeka. My last race win came there in 1997," added Geoffrion, whose three victories here are one-third of his nine race wins. He swept the two Heartland Park races in 1994 and was runner-up in 1992. "I like the track. It has been good to me."

He also has a competitive race car even though three consecutive first-round losses have sent the San Clemente, Calif., driver from sixth to eighth in points. This is, however, only the ninth of 23 NHRA POWERade Series events.

"We would've had a good chance to get a first-round win Sunday but an engine rocker arm broke on the burnout and the motor bogged off the starting line," Geoffrion recalled. The car slowed to 7.625 seconds, giving the win to Terry Adams despite an impressive starting-line advantage by Geoffrion.

"We really didn't make one good run during qualifying," Geoffrion continued. "We were all over the track on two of our three runs and we ran 6.72 even though we were light in the clutch area. Still, I would rather have been conservative on the tune-up and qualify than not get in at all."

With an eye on staying competitive and winning races, Geoffrion planned a test session at St. Louis on the way to Topeka, and he wasn't going to be alone.

"There will be 20 to 25 Pro Stocks testing at St. Louis," he said. "We'll be running our new motor to get it ready for Topeka. (Engine builder) Bob (Panella) said it pulled good numbers on the dyno. We hope that translates well to the car. We should have a good idea how we stack up with the other cars when we leave St. Louis for Topeka."

Geoffrion has 343 points but is only 40 points - or two rounds of racing - behind No. 5 Bruce Allen.

Friday's qualifying is set for 4:30 and 7:30, followed by runs Saturday at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Eliminations Sunday get underway at 11 a.m.

-jls-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Hurley Blakeney , Bruce Allen , Scott Geoffrion , Terry Adams