St. Louis: Jerry Toliver Saturday notes

TOLIVER MAKES ST. LOUIS FIELD IN NO. 14 MADISON, Ill. (May 3, 2008) -- Jerry Toliver qualified the Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in the No. 14 position at the NHRA Midwest Nationals. Toliver struggled today in the final two...

TOLIVER MAKES ST. LOUIS FIELD IN NO. 14

MADISON, Ill. (May 3, 2008) -- Jerry Toliver qualified the Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in the No. 14 position at the NHRA Midwest Nationals. Toliver struggled today in the final two sessions and used his run from Friday evening to make the 16-car field.

Toliver made a solid run on Friday's first qualifying attempt, recording an elapsed time of 4.880 seconds at 308.00 mph to take No. 7. He improved dramatically on his second try, pushing the Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge to a 4.818/322.11 pass to move up to No. 4.

The conditions were cold, windy and overcast at Gateway International Raceway today for the final two rounds. Toliver shut off early on his third pass, coasting to a 6.389/130.27 and dropping to No. 9 on the 16-car ladder. The 2000 Midwest Nationals Funny Car winner was unable to make a full lap in the last session, posting a 10.751/76.72 and ending up No. 14.

"Friday we had a good day," said Toliver. "We started out with a 4.88 that put us in the No. 7 spot and then we ran a 4.81 last night that moved us all the way up to the No. 4 qualifying position, which was fantastic. Today we got a little aggressive with the Rockstar Energy Drink car. It ran good on Friday so we decided to try some things to see if we could get the car moving quicker and it bit us.

"The bottom line is, like I always say, you've got to be in to win. We've got Robert Hight in the first round tomorrow. He only made it down the track once out of four attempts, so I think our chances are pretty good. The weather should be good tomorrow and this car is starting to come around. It doesn't happen overnight, it takes some laps. But we're getting things figured out and the good thing is that we had a couple of good runs this weekend. If it would have got down the track on either of the runs today it would have really hauled because she was tuned up to go fast. It's just a matter of getting the tune-up down."

The entire Rockstar team was encouraged after Toliver's pair of 4.80-second runs on Friday.

"Those runs on Friday were huge for the team morale," Toliver said. "This team is good. We just need a break. Those runs were great for everybody here and we all went to bed last night feeling good because we knew we were going to be in the show. We were pretty sure the 4.81 was going to keep us in. Even though we did get bumped down to 14th, it just shows you how stout this field is. But it was great for the team morale. The Rockstar Energy Drink guys dug deep and today we just got nipped a couple of times. Tomorrow is a whole new day."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jerry Toliver , Robert Hight