Topeka: Jerry Toliver final report

TOLIVER SEES IMPROVED PERFORMANCE, LANDS IN QUARTERFINALS IN TOPEKA TOPEKA, Kan. (June 1, 2008) -- Jerry Toliver and the Rockstar Energy Drink Funny Car team saw a welcome improvement in performance of the Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car this...

TOLIVER SEES IMPROVED PERFORMANCE, LANDS IN QUARTERFINALS IN TOPEKA

TOPEKA, Kan. (June 1, 2008) -- Jerry Toliver and the Rockstar Energy Drink Funny Car team saw a welcome improvement in performance of the Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car this weekend at the NHRA Summer Nationals. Toliver advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time this season, after posting a solid win over Tommy Johnson in the opening round, in which he torched the starting lights with a .008-of-a-second reaction time (.000 is perfect).

In the third consecutive day of hot and humid conditions, Toliver faced the sizzling hot points leader Tim Wilkerson in a close match-up in the second round. They launched with nearly identical reaction times (.084 for Toliver to Wilkerson's .088). It was anybody's race, but it was Wilkerson first by five feet over Toliver, recording a winning 5.005/298.01 to Toliver's 5.021/292.27.

The Rockstar Energy Drink Funny Car ran consistently all weekend, making five full runs in six laps down the quarter-mile. Toliver won his opening match against Johnson Jr. using a 4.946/305.22 pass to Johnson's 4.950/305.36.

"It was extremely big to win that first round," said than an enthusiastic and happy Toliver, who moved up one spot to 16th in the point standings. "Round wins are so important and they're so difficult to get because the competition is incredibly tough.

"The team came together this weekend and the Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge is coming around. We lost the second round by a very small margin. But we go into the next race with our heads a lot higher. We needed that round win. That was a big, big deal for this team.

"Seeing that win light come on was huge," added Toliver. "I went in deep (therefore the .008 light), so the second lap I didn't go in as deep because it made me a little nervous, and I probably should have staged a little deeper and maybe I would have won on a holeshot.

"But the bottom line is that we go into Chicago with a whole new attitude. The team needed it. It's big for our sponsors and it's big for our fans and it's a hell of a lot better leaving here than it has been leaving any other race track this year. Hopefully there are a lot more round wins ahead of us."

-credit: jtr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tommy Johnson , Tim Wilkerson , Jerry Toliver