Las Vegas: Jerry Toliver preview

Jerry Toliver, ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Funny Car Make 2007 NHRA Debut This Weekend at Las Vegas He's b-a-a-a-c-c-c-k-k-k! Fast driving, fast talking Jerry Toliver resumes his NHRA Funny Car career Friday when qualifying begins for Sunday's ...

Jerry Toliver, ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Funny Car Make 2007 NHRA Debut This Weekend at Las Vegas

He's b-a-a-a-c-c-c-k-k-k! Fast driving, fast talking Jerry Toliver resumes his NHRA Funny Car career Friday when qualifying begins for Sunday's SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The effervescent Toliver is eager to take his seat in the new nitromethane-fueled ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota. If nothing else, it means the warp-speed preparations and testing of the past month are over and now he and the team can concentrate on running races and winning rounds on Sunday.

"I am really looking forward to getting back into NHRA POWERade Series competition," said Toliver, who is returning after a two-year absence with ROCKSTAR Energy Drink as his primary sponsor. "The ROCKSTAR team is ready to go. We have been operating at a 24/7 pace just to get here but, we finally got over all the hurdles. Now it's time to race and I couldn't be more excited. The staff at ROCKSTAR has been very supportive and great to work with. Now it is my job to put them on the podium."

Coming back with him is legendary crew chief Dale Armstrong, who served in the same capacity with Toliver from 1998-2001 when they were sponsored by the World Wrestling Federation (now Entertainment). His finest season was 2000 when he gave John Force a season-long title tussle before finishing third. He won three times in seven final rounds. His first race win came in 1999 and he added another in 2004, when he drove the Schick Quattro razors Toyota.

"We have a very talented group of guys, headed by Dale Armstrong," said Toliver. "He knows how to do his deal. We would've liked to have had more testing time, but I'll be honest with you, it felt good to get back in the car. I was comfortable in it and I think I drove well in testing.

"Maybe because it was my second time coming back (after a two-year layoff), but driving a Funny Car is just like riding a bicycle. You just get back in there and do it. I'm a little rusty and have been walking myself through each pass mentally. It's extremely important not to forget the proper sequence of things to do in the cockpit, but that will improve with every lap. One thing I can say is you never stop learning how to drive a Fuel Funny car. These cars are animals and it's truly a challenge each time you go down the track".

"We are looking forward to running on a good racetrack. We finished testing at Tucson earlier in the week and, unfortunately, that track couldn't hold our horsepower."

The team's lone goal in its debut is to be one of the 16 starters for Sunday's eliminations.

"I think if we qualify, we are capable of winning rounds," Toliver added.

-credit: js

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Jerry Toliver