Sonoma: Jerry Toliver preview

Toliver Looking for Good Things from ROCKSTAR Funny Car at FRAM Autolite Nationals The traditional NHRA Western Swing -- races at Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif. -- comes to an end with the FRAM Autolite Nationals, Friday through Sunday,...

Toliver Looking for Good Things from ROCKSTAR Funny Car at FRAM Autolite Nationals

The traditional NHRA Western Swing -- races at Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif. -- comes to an end with the FRAM Autolite Nationals, Friday through Sunday, at Infineon Raceway, and Jerry Toliver, for one, is quite happy to bid it adieu.

At the same time, there have been some good things to remember -- like qualifying fourth at Denver in a season's best performance and claiming his first 2007 round win in the mile-high air.

But  there was misfortune, too, like his venture into the sand trap at Denver
that  damaged one of his ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota Solara Funny Car bodies
(one of  his parachutes didn't open). And last week at Seattle, Toliver
qualified 15th in  a rain-plagued two days of qualifying . . . only to get bumped
from the field by  NHRA's rain-qualifying rule that seeds top 10 drivers into
the line-up if they  weren't qualified after only one run.
"We are starting to get a  complex," said Toliver with a laugh. "On the good
side, Dale (Armstrong, team  crew chief) and I feel our car is ready to make
a serious impact on the Funny  Car field.  We had a fluke mechanical
malfunction in our only qualifying  run at Seattle.  Otherwise, we felt the car would'
ve run much  better."

Armstrong, a tuning wizard with a passel of victories to his credit, has transformed the car's performance to the point where he and Toliver are confident it can consistently make the starting 16.

"We  had a power issue at Denver and we solved it," added Toliver, "not only
in  Denver, but everywhere."
Multiple round wins and, perhaps, a race  victory appear to be in the team's
future. This is the 15th of 23 POWERade  Series events -- and sixth in
succession.  Anything can  happen.

One thing certain is Toliver, Armstrong and the crew have forged ahead after getting a late start to their 2007 campaign and the car's potential will be seen on the race tracks.

"At some point," said  Toliver, "the breaks are going to go our way.  If, or
when, that happens .  . . look out."

-credit: jtr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jerry Toliver