Phoenix: Scott Geoffrion preview

Geoffrion to drive Mustang at Phoenix. CHANDLER, Ariz., February 14, 2003 - Scott Geoffrion looked at the Pro Stock cars lined up in the Pomona Raceway staging area, then at his NitroFish Ford Mustang. "Nothing against my Mustang, but it's a...

Geoffrion to drive Mustang at Phoenix.

CHANDLER, Ariz., February 14, 2003 - Scott Geoffrion looked at the Pro Stock cars lined up in the Pomona Raceway staging area, then at his NitroFish Ford Mustang.

"Nothing against my Mustang, but it's a little like taking a Clydesdale to the Kentucky Derby," Geoffrion said. He smiled . . . a little. The Mustang, however, was larger than the Cavaliers, Grand Ams and Dodges that dominated the cars in the lanes.

"Aerodynamically, it has to push around a lot more air than the smaller cars do," added Geoffrion of the Hurley Blakeney-owned Mustang, which will make its final Pro Stock appearance at the Checkers Schuck's Kragen Nationals, Feb. 21-24, at Firebird Raceway. A new, smaller, more aerodynamic Ford Escort ZX2 will replace it.

Geoffrion, who held out hope the new car would debut at Firebird, decided it was best to wait until the Gatornationals, next month at Gainesville, Fla. "We'll have time to pick up the car at builder Don Ness' shop in the Minneapolis area and take it to Bradenton (Florida) for testing before the Gatornationals," he said. "The crew is headed for Minnesota as soon as the CSK race is over."

The thought of driving a competitive Pro Stock entry has caused Geoffrion some sleepless nights. "I have insomnia thinking about it. I can't wait to see what it feels like when I put the ZX2 in high gear."

The feeling won't be the same in the current NitroFish entry. The San Clemente, Calif.-based driver did get his best numbers from the bigger Ford in the Winternationals at Pomona - 6.844 seconds at 201.43 mph - but it was only good enough for 31st out of 38 cars. Three drivers from last season's top 10 - Jim Yates, Mike Edwards and Mark Whisnant - also were among race-day spectators.

"Pro Stock cars are so close that you can't give up anything if you want to stay competitive," pointed out Geoffrion, who was a winner at Firebird in 1994, driving a Dodge Daytona. "That's why we need to go to the smaller body style."

Nearly ideal weather and track conditions at Pomona contributed to a rash of low times and high speeds. Nine drivers qualified in the 6.7-second range, led by Greg Stanfield's 6.772. The difference between first and 16th in Pro Stock's quickest field was .039 of a second.

Geoffrion gets four qualifying attempts to get the Mustang into the field in its last Pro Stock race, at 1 and 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Sunday's eliminations begin at 11 a.m., and Geoffrion hopes his NitroFish Mustang will be in the staging lanes then.

-nf-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Hurley Blakeney , Greg Stanfield , Scott Geoffrion , Mark Whisnant , Mike Edwards