DRO: Well, your program certainly is coming around, especially after introducing the new Escort, so you've got to be pleased with that.

Geoffrion: Yeah, we went to the finals in Houston against my buddy Kurt; I hadn't been to a final since I guess 2000, so that was pretty neat. We had a good race; 6.78 to a 6.79 and we both ran 204-plus, but he's just tough to beat right now.

We don't have any runs on this racecar; I mean, compared to him. We just tested for the first time after Bristol; we tested for three days. Up until then, we basically had just the runs we made at national events, so it's pretty incredible.

DRO: You put a new engine in yesterday for the final qualifying session, but you had a problem with the line lock before the burnout and didn't get to make a pass.

Geoffrion: Yeah, we put it in and it was unfortunate because the air got a little worse and it was the perfect situation. We had a game plan before the weekend started in the sense
that we wanted to slip that new motor in and see what it would do in the last qualifying effort if the air got a little worse and the track got a little hotter. We wanted to see where we would stack up and then make a decision on what to run on raceday.

The motor that we have has got a lot of runs on it, so we're flying it back to the Panellas in California. They're awesome and I'm sure they'll get it shined up for Englishtown. (Editor's note -- The team installed a new engine before Atlanta's first round, but lost to Taylor Lastor, so both engines were sent back to engine builder Bob Panella's shop for freshening up before the E-town event.)

You know, for the short amount of time that the Panellas have had to work on this engine program, it's pretty incredible what they've accomplished. We're just in the early stages here and it seems like they're always finding a little more here and a little bit more there. The reliability factor is obviously important, too, and this stuff stays together.

DRO: Is driving the Ford any different from driving the Dodge that you were in for so many years?

Geoffrion: Well, the power curve is different. The Dodges were more high winders, especially with the hemis there at the end. You didn't have as much torque at the bottom of the gear and you shifted them higher. The Dodges I used to shift at about 96 or 9,700 (rpm), and you shift this one at about 9,400. And this racecar that Don Ness built is the nicest racecar I've ever had, by far. It is the most stable; it is just an awesome car.

DRO: Does that make it easier for you to provide feedback as a driver?

Geoffrion: Exactly. It's got so much adjustability in it and it seems like every little change we make, it shows us something. It's not one of those cars that doesn't respond to change.



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