Seattle: Jerry Toliver preview

Toliver's ROCKSTAR Funny Car Begins Showing Potential When it comes to talking the talk, Jerry Toliver is one of the best. And now, the loquacious Funny Car driver is beginning to walk the walk . . . at least as far as the performance of his...

Toliver's ROCKSTAR Funny Car Begins Showing Potential

When it comes to talking the talk, Jerry Toliver is one of the best. And now, the loquacious Funny Car driver is beginning to walk the walk . . . at least as far as the performance of his ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota Solara is concerned.

Toliver told anyone who'd listen that  it wouldn't take long for his new
team to begin running competitive elapsed  times and speeds and become a
consistent member of the 16-car starting  line-up.
The team, led by Dale Armstrong, one of the sport's  foremost nitromethane
tuners, displayed some of its potential at Denver in the  high altitude last
weekend.  Now both Toliver and Armstrong are looking  forward to taking their
performance to the next level which, in this case,  happens to be sea level.  The
event, the team's fifth in as many weeks, is  the Schuck's Auto Supply
Nationals at Pacific Raceways in nearby Kent, Friday  through Sunday.

The power issues that hobbled them earlier seemed to have been cured at Denver, where Toliver posted the event's fastest speed, 319.60 mph, and fourth-quickest qualifying time, 4.893 seconds.

"We zeroed in on the power issues and fixed them," said Toliver,  who
qualified a season-best fourth and scored his first round win for  ROCKSTAR.  "Now
we have some power . . . and that was at Denver. We are  constantly refining
the program and I think we have caught the pack that was  ahead of us.  We are
definitely looking forward to going to  Seattle."

Toliver's 4.893-second, 319.60-mph qualifying run was an eye-opener for his peers. The speed was more than two miles an hour faster than any other Funny Car and was better than all but two Top Fuel speeds.

"Seattle is a sea level track and we will be running better there," said Armstrong, who guided Toliver to three victories in four finals and third place in 2000 -- his finest POWERade Series finish. "I think our Friday night qualifying program is way better than it was before."

The  Friday night session has become the most important of the four
qualifying runs  because it offers optimum summertime conditions that usually aren't
prevalent  during the day.
Toliver returned to racing this year after a  three-year absence.  The team
got a late start and didn't make its debut  until the fifth race but has been
improving with each recent  outing.

-credit: jtr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jerry Toliver