Columbus: Jerry Toliver preview

Toliver, Schick Quattro Team Regroup; Get Ready for Next Three in Row COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 8, 2004 - Jerry Toliver is a fount of optimism when it comes to the potential of his Schick Quattro Toyota Celica Funny Car team.  He is a professed...

Toliver, Schick Quattro Team Regroup; Get Ready for Next Three in Row

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 8, 2004 - Jerry Toliver is a fount of optimism when it comes to the potential of his Schick Quattro Toyota Celica Funny Car team.  He is a professed "glass is half full" kind of guy.

And he still is . . . despite the fact the results have not been what he desired.  With nine of 23 2004 POWERade Series events official, Toliver is a two-time finalist, winning the season-opener in Pomona, Calif., and finishing second at Houston.  He is one of six Funny Car winners in what remains a multi-driver squabble for the championship that is likely to go down to the last event at Pomona in November.

The Temecula, Calif. driver, bummed about the team's success in its last three events - successive stops at Atlanta, Chicago and Topeka, Kan. - is nonetheless refreshed as a second three in a row arrives Friday with the beginning of the Pontiac Excitement Nationals, June 11-13, at nearby National Trail Raceway. 

"It was a grueling three races," Toliver recalled, "and the first time our team experienced it.  The guys were tired.  They went back to the shop in Santa Maria (Calif.) and regrouped.  We know what we need to do to get better and I think we'll show it at Columbus.

"I'd hoped we would make our move during those races," added Toliver, who was runner-up here in 2000.  "I didn't want the guys ahead of me to pull farther away, but we won only one round during that time.  We want to improve that record this time."

Races at Englishtown, N.J., and St. Louis follow this event in successive weekends and signal the close of the season's first half.

"I'm still a firm believer that we are a better team than what we showed over our last three races," continued Toliver.  "We are into the hot weather part of the schedule and we don't have a combination for humid conditions and hot, slippery race tracks yet.  That's one of the things we discussed and hope to correct as early as Friday."

Toliver is 10th with 421 points.  He is, however, just 92 points (five round wins) out of fifth-place.

"All we need to do is start winning elimination rounds on Sunday and the points will take care of themselves," Toliver concluded.

Friday's qualifying sessions are scheduled for 5 and 8 p.m., followed by runs at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday.  Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. Sunday.

-jtr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jerry Toliver