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Joliet II: Scott Geoffrion preview

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Joliet II: Scott Geoffrion preview
Sep 25, 2003, 2:25 AM

Geoffrion, Nitro Fish Team Hope to Shake the Shake at Route 66 JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 24, 2003 - Its called tire shake in drag racing. Or it could be termed tire bounce. Whatever the name, it shakes up the drivers. One said the vibration is so ...

Geoffrion, Nitro Fish Team Hope to Shake the Shake at Route 66

JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 24, 2003 - Its called tire shake in drag racing. Or it could be termed tire bounce. Whatever the name, it shakes up the drivers.

One said the vibration is so strong it he felt like he was in a paint mixer. It is the bane of all drivers because it robs the racecar of performance and is generally a ticket to the trailer.

Scott Geoffrion could write a chapter on the subject. Tire shake has dogged Hurley Blakeney's Nitro Fish Ford Escort ZX2 Pro Stock team recently and Geoffrion has the headaches to prove it. Crew chief Eric Luzinski, engine specialist Donnie Gardner and car builder Don Ness have been searching for the reason the rear tires shake.

They are confident they'll find it, but there will always doubts until Geoffrion makes his first qualifying run. The team shook its way to the No. 16 qualifying berth at Memphis last weekend and, after Sunday's eliminations were completed Monday following a rain delay, set out to come up with a solution this week.

Luzinski didn't have much time to work because the CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals event is on tap Friday through Sunday at Route 66 Raceway, but the team did go to St. Louis and run test laps Tuesday and Wednesday.

"We believe the problem is in the carburetors. We've tried everything but can't seem to get the car to run without shaking in the first 60 feet of the run," said Geoffrion. "It's like driving over a speed bump. We've had terrible 60-foot times. We're giving up three-hundredths of a second in that short time. Pro Stock racing is close enough without dealing with something that slows the car even more.

"If we don't fix it, we'll be even farther behind at the finish line," Geoffrion continued. "This has been plaguing us since our race at Brainerd (Minn., Aug. 17). We need to have a car that can go (elimination) rounds on Sunday. Everybody has ideas on what to do but none of them are working."

Geoffrion has won only one round of competition in the last seven races, dropping from fifth to eighth in NHRA POWERade Series points. He has two second-place finishes in the Nitro Fish Escort ZX2, at Houston and Columbus.

"We will be on one of the best tracks on the circuit this weekend and we want to be able to run the same low numbers that the top cars will be running," added Geoffrion, who qualified second at the tour's first stop here in June.

His 711 points put him 76 (there are 20 points awarded for each round win) behind Mike Edwards, 89 behind Allen Johnson and 100 behind No. 5 Ron Krisher. Only four races remain after this one so Geoffrion will need a hot streak to climb as high as fifth, a spot he has coveted most of the year.

Qualifying runs will be at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Friday, 12:30 and 3:30 Saturday, followed by Sunday's eliminations at 11 a.m.

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About this article

Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Krisher , Hurley Blakeney , Mike Edwards , Scott Geoffrion , Allen Johnson