Pomona II: Jerry Toliver preview

Jerry Toliver Aiming for Second 2004 Win at Pomona Raceway Schick Quattro/Rambo Driver Surprised Funny Car Field at Winternationals POMONA, Calif., Nov. 5, 2004 - Does lightning strike twice in the same place? Jerry Toliver isn't sure, but ...

Jerry Toliver Aiming for Second 2004 Win at Pomona Raceway
Schick Quattro/Rambo Driver Surprised Funny Car Field at Winternationals

POMONA, Calif., Nov. 5, 2004 - Does lightning strike twice in the same place?

Jerry Toliver isn't sure, but he'll be more than happy to find out when he returns to Pomona Raceway for the NHRA's Auto Club Finals, Nov. 11-14.

Toliver, the affable driver of the Schick Quattro/Rambo Toyota Celica Funny Car, was a surprise winner at the season-opening Winternationals here in February. He wasn't expected to win because it was his team and sponsor's first race . . . but he stunned a strong field with a decisive victory.

"Coming back with the Schick Quattro car in the first race of the 2004 season, running 4.73 seconds at 328 mph and winning the trophy was unbelievable," said Toliver. "Maybe the gods at Pomona like me, I don't know, but it would be wonderful to go back and bookend this season with the win in the Finals."

Pomona Raceway has been good to the Temecula, Calif.-based driver. Three of his five wins have come on the Fairplex track, including his first career triumph in 1999, and his second one three months later in the 2000 Winternationals.

"Without a doubt, Pomona is my favorite track," Toliver said, "and not just because of my wins there. It's just because it's my hometown track and where I went to all the drag races growing up. Southern California has the greatest drag racing fans; that's where drag racing started.

"Winning the Auto Club Finals there in 1999 was my first national event win and one of the most unbelievable things I've ever done in my life. I beat John Force in a (throttle) pedaling contest. And to come back in 2000 and win the Winternationals with Dale Armstrong as my crew chief was just as amazing. We won the last race of the old millennium and the first one in the new one."

While season hasn't gone as well has he'd hoped, Toliver isn't ready to kiss it goodbye, either.

"It has been a disappointing season and we didn't achieve what we wanted to achieve," he assessed. "But it is work in progress. Am I happy to get it over? No, I'd like to keep on going. It's not a matter of where we are in points right now, but what does matter is that we go out there and learn and improve our program. If we can't race, we can't do that. We're going to keep after it and keep working on our program.

"It sure would be nice to start all over, but we need laps on the car and that will happen in January and February during pre-season testing. We'll have new cars and new equipment and will be ready to go at the Winternationals, Feb. 10-13.

First up is the Auto Club Finals where Toliver will have four qualifying runs (3 p.m. Thursday and Friday and noon and 3 p.m. Saturday) to get ready for Sunday's 11 a.m. eliminations.

Rambo Ultimate Edition Collection Rides with Toliver at Pomona

-jlr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Jerry Toliver