Sonoma: Jerry Toliver preview

Schick Quattro/Open Water Team Finds Mechanical Gremlin Jerry Toliver Result Will Turn Around Performance at Fram Autolite Nationals SONOMA, Calif., July 27, 2004 - Even when things were darkest - like in the hot sunshine Saturday afternoon at...

Schick Quattro/Open Water Team Finds Mechanical Gremlin
Jerry Toliver Result Will Turn Around Performance at Fram Autolite Nationals

SONOMA, Calif., July 27, 2004 - Even when things were darkest - like in the hot sunshine Saturday afternoon at Pacific Raceways near Seattle - Jerry Toliver believed there was the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

Now, he's almost certain.

"We've been struggling," Toliver said, two days after a disappointing weekend in Seattle where he didn't make the starting lineup. "But we found something mechanically earlier in the week that we believe should take us in the right direction."

That path could lead to round wins and, perhaps, even a visit to the winner's circle Sunday in the Fram Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway.

The discovery buoyed Toliver's spirits following the disappointment in the Northwest.

"I've always said we were a lot better team than we were on paper or on the track," he added. "We have bright personnel. This Schick Quattro/Open Water Funny Car team has one win (at Pomona, Calif., in February) and one runner-up finish (at Houston in April) and we were in the top 10 until two weeks ago.

"When I say we are looking forward to going to Sonoma, I really mean it. We'll be able see if the car responds."

The first chance to check the new combination comes Friday with qualifying runs at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Two more runs are scheduled Saturday at noon and 3:30 p.m.

"It would be ironic if we turned the season around at Sonoma," Toliver said, "because it was here in 2000 where my season turned around in the opposite direction. I was in the championship hunt then and wound up finishing third.

Eleventh with 588 points, Toliver trails Tony Pedregon by 93 and No. 9 Cruz Pedregon by 102. Each round win is worth 20 points.

"There are nine races left this year and we can make up a lot of points if we start winning rounds," continued Toliver.

He needs look no further than Cruz Pedregon for encouragement. Pedregon was 76 points behind Toliver three races ago. Since then, Pedregon finished second twice, went to the semifinals once and climbed all the way into ninth

That's the method of attack Toliver and the Schick Quattro team want to employ the rest of the way.

-jtr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Cruz Pedregon , Jerry Toliver