A nitromethane-guzzling, supercharged NHRA Funny Car motor is estimated to have between 7000 and 8000 horsepower, so when Jerry Toliver says his ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota Solara Funny Car needs to make more power, he's likely to get a glance...
A nitromethane-guzzling, supercharged NHRA Funny Car motor is estimated to have between 7000 and 8000 horsepower, so when Jerry Toliver says his ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota Solara Funny Car needs to make more power, he's likely to get a glance of disbelief from, say, a NASCAR fan.
But it isn't always the number of horses that determine the outcome of a race. It's how they are applied to the racing surface and where.
This week's applications will be at Bristol Dragway for the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals, Friday through Sunday.
So one of crew chief Dale Armstrong's chores is to find an application that will quicken the Solara's pace through the middle of the track. "The good thing is," said Toliver, "that we are zeroing in on our issues. Right now we have a good hot-race-track conditions race car that has been running right in the middle of the pack. And that is good."
Toliver believes his Funny Car is beginning to display the kinds of performances that are necessary to contend for race wins. The team did get a late start -- Toliver announced the ROCKSTAR Energy Drink sponsorship at the season' s first race -- and it is taking time to get all the parts and pieces moving in the same direction.
The driver from Temecula, Calif., says his team "needs to pick up our Friday night qualifying performances so we can get in the show on that run. You usually can't get in the show on Saturday's warmer runs during the summer. For example, 15 of the top 16 ran their best times Friday night (last weekend at Norwalk, Ohio)."
So did Toliver, but his 4.893-second elapsed time was 18th best. However, in Saturday's hottest session, Toliver's 4.925-second run was seventh quickest -- right in the middle of the pack.
"We are still playing catch-up," Toliver said. "Everything is going well. We have a good system on parts and the guys are jelling as a team. It's just a matter of time. There are so many factors.
"There's no magic to this."