Memphis: Geoffrion, Hemi rewrite record books

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Oct. 10, 2000) - On a cool, blustery Oct. 7 night, nine-time NHRA national event winner Scott Geoffrion and his Hemi-powered Dodge R/T made Pro Stock history after passing through the Memphis Motorsports Park timing lights at a...

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Oct. 10, 2000) - On a cool, blustery Oct. 7 night, nine-time NHRA national event winner Scott Geoffrion and his Hemi-powered Dodge R/T made Pro Stock history after passing through the Memphis Motorsports Park timing lights at a record-shattering 6.809-second elapsed time during qualifying for the 13th annual AutoZone Nationals. The historic pass eclipsed Warren Johnson's 6.822-second effort set Oct. 23, 1999 at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis.

"I was just hoping to get in the show," said Geoffrion, who grabbed his first No. 1 qualifier of the season. "When the car left the starting line, I knew I was on a great pass. It pulled throughout the run and I was on the ragged edge.

"The car sounded like a freight train at the top end," Geoffrion added.

Geoffrion, who was also the first NHRA Pro Stock competitor to break the 7.10-second mark when he completed a 7.099-second pass at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa., in September of 1992, officially backed up the national record in his first-round victory over teammate Darrell Alderman on Oct. 8 with a 6.868-second lap.

"When we started the new Hemi project at the beginning of the year, we had no idea it would come around so quickly," Geoffrion noted. "Along with the Mopar factory engineers, the Nickens Brothers Racing team has done a phenomenal job with this program.

"Early in the season, we struggled to even qualify for the show," Geoffrion continued. "Ever since the race in Denver (Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo.), we have been one of the quickest and most consistent Pro Stock teams out there."

During the record-breaking run, Geoffrion drove the 10-month-old Hemi engine to its fastest time ever at 201.43 mph. Dodge Motorsports R/T driver Larry Morgan, who is also heavily involved in the development of the new engine, was the first to break the 200-mph mark after posting a 200.50-mph pass in the third round of qualifying earlier in the day. Ironically, Geoffrion bumped Morgan, who ran the fifth-quickest time in NHRA history at 6.830-seconds, from he pole.

In the early 1970s, Hemi-powered Cudas, Challengers, Dusters and Darts dominated NHRA Pro Stock competition. In fact, they virtually won every race between 1970 and '71 and broke many elapsed time and speed records in the process. Names like Ronnie Sox and Dick Landy set the standard for the factory hot rods of that era. Today, names like Geoffrion, Alderman and Morgan are carrying on that Hemi tradition.

The Dodge Motorsports and Team Mopar contingent will be heading to the next NHRA national event at the Texas Motorplex Oct. 19-22 for the 15th annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec. ESPN2 will broadcast the Fall Nationals on Oct. 22 from 6-9:00 p.m. EST.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Darrell Alderman , Warren Johnson , Larry Morgan , Scott Geoffrion