Pomona II: Jerry Toliver final report

TOLIVER OUSTED EARLY IN FINAL RACE WITH DSR IN POMONA POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2008) -- Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver was ousted in the first round of eliminations at the 44th annual NHRA Finals at Pomona...

TOLIVER OUSTED EARLY IN FINAL RACE WITH DSR IN POMONA

POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2008) -- Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver was ousted in the first round of eliminations at the 44th annual NHRA Finals at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway in his last national event driving for Don Schumacher Racing. He had joined the team at the beginning of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

In a "monster match-up" with championship ramifications, Toliver squared off against Funny Car Countdown to 1 points leader Cruz Pedregon. Toliver got the jump off the starting line with a .057 (of-a-second) reaction time to Pedregon's .110 (.000 is perfect), but the Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge smoked the tires near half-track and Toliver recorded a losing elapsed time of 5.380 seconds at 144.63 mph. Pedregon took the win with a 4.142/301.47.

With that round win and following his brother Tony's first-round victory, Pedregon clinched the 2008 Funny Car championship. Title contenders Tim Wilkerson and Robert Hight were also eliminated in that round. Toliver's Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman won his match-up against another DSR driver, Gary Scelzi, but his chances of claiming his first championship, although remote, were dashed.

"The Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge went out there and shook and got out of the groove a little bit and smoked the tires," said Toliver, who finished the season No. 15 in the points. "We just got beat. It's frustrating because we just can't seem to get it together on race day.

"But the season is over. I wished I could have helped out my teammate Jack Beckman, but even if we would have won that round it still would have been an uphill battle for him. It is what it is. It's been a terrible season, but the bleeding has stopped and nobody died.

"I've enjoyed my time with DSR," added Toliver. "I love the guys on the Rockstar Energy Drink crew. I would race with any of these guys again any time. Unfortunately, I'm moving on and some of these guys are moving on to other places. The NHRA is a small community and the good ones all meet up again somewhere and that's just the way it is.

"I'm disappointed I didn't win one for the boys, DSR and our sponsor Rockstar Energy Drink, but I've really enjoyed my time at Don Schumacher Racing."

Toliver had announced earlier in the weekend that he would move over the Jim Dunn's Funny Car team in 2009.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Cruz Pedregon , Jack Beckman , Jerry Toliver , Don Schumacher , Robert Hight