Jerry Toliver Ready for 'Gremlin Free' Race at Brainerd
Some days things don't go as planned. Sometimes those days happen much too frequently.
Ask Jerry Toliver, the veteran Funny Car driver who returned to NHRA POWERade Series competition this year after a two-year hiatus. Since his inaugural race in April, crew chief Dale Armstrong and the ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota Solara team have been "fighting gremlins," said Toliver. "It's been one after another. But things are looking good now."
Armstrong and his henchmen had time to scrutinize the car and components in the past week. "They went through everything," Toliver added, "and we think we got all the bugs out."
They'll get their first test Friday when qualifying gets underway for Sunday' s Lucas Oil Nationals. It's the first of two successive events leading up to the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, Aug. 31-Sept. 3, but a far cry from the just-completed string of six races in six weeks.
"That six-week deal wore out everybody," Toliver said. "We are looking forward to going to Brainerd and getting back on the track. I think our performance will finally be where we want it to be. Dale and the guys discovered an electrical problem that had been affecting the way the car ran. We hope there will be no more unforeseen problems for the rest of the season."
This event is the 16th of the season, but just the 10th for Toliver. His best qualifying effort was fourth, at Denver, and he picked up his first 2007 round win at Denver.
"All the guys who began testing in January have a lot more runs than we do, but we're getting better," he said. "I think we are now capable of running with the pack. If we can get our Friday night tune-up working, we'll be fine."
The only night qualifying run is important because it traditionally produces the best Funny Car elapsed times.