TOLIVER QUALIFIES NO. 5 IN POMONA POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2008) -- Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver qualified No. 5 today at the 44th annual NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway. He made his best run on his final...
TOLIVER QUALIFIES NO. 5 IN POMONA
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2008) -- Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver qualified No. 5 today at the 44th annual NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway. He made his best run on his final attempt, posting an impressive run of 4.110 seconds at 303.78 mph to qualify in the top half of the field for the ninth time this season.
The California native made runs of 4.186/297.61 (No. 9) on Thursday and 4.157/301.13 (No. 8) on Friday. He then went on a wild ride on his first attempt Saturday when the left rear wheel sheered the mounting studs and flew off the car into the opposite lane. The veteran driver expertly kept the car off the retaining wall and brought it to a safe stop, recording a 5.644/120.38 (No. 11) pass. He was unhurt.
"The Rockstar Energy Drink car left the starting line fine and was trucking down the track when it let go around the 330-foot mark," explained Toliver. "All of a sudden it got hard to steer and it felt like the front end was up in the air a little bit. I turned it left and the car went right and I went right and it went left and I thought, We've got an issue here. Then I realized the rear of the car had dropped down and it was dragging the oil pan. I just tried to keep it in the middle of the race track and keep it off the wall and not hurt it worse than it already was."
He was pleased with his qualifying effort despite the setback in the third session. "Qualifying went well for the Rockstar Energy Drink team," said Toliver, who is No. 15 in the points. "Outside of the third lap when we had the mishap with the wheel the car has been running very well. The Rockstar Energy Drink boys got the car back together and we bounced back and ran a 4.11 on our last qualifying lap."
Toliver could well play the spoiler in the opening round of eliminations, where he faces No. 1 in points Cruz Pedregon. His Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman is still in contention for the championship, in fifth place.
"I feel great going into eliminations tomorrow; we've got a good race car. Our first round match-up with Cruz Pedregon is going to be really exciting. He's fighting for a championship and we can spoil his whole year and that's our job. We've got our teammate Jack Beckman running for the championship and we're going to go out there and do what we can to beat Cruz. He's beat up on us all year long and hopefully it'll be payback time tomorrow.
"We'll let the race cars sort it out and see how it goes. I want to win a race for Rockstar Energy Drink and he's the first one in my way."