Topeka: Jerry Toliver preview

TOPEKA, Kan., May 27, 2009 - As its name implies, this weekend's 21st annual NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka launches the NHRA Full Throttle Series into the "dog days" of summer, so what better place to be than behind the wheel of...

TOPEKA, Kan., May 27, 2009 - As its name implies, this weekend's 21st annual NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka launches the NHRA Full Throttle Series into the "dog days" of summer, so what better place to be than behind the wheel of the CANIDAE Pet Foods/Lucas Oil Chevy Funny Car? At least that is the thinking of Funny Car veteran Jerry Toliver and the Jim Dunn Racing team as they prepare for race No. 9 on the 24-race Full Throttle schedule.

"I think the hot, summer months might level the playing field a little," Toliver said. "We've got some cars that are running good on cold tracks, really hauling the mail right now, so I think a hot race track might help us and play into our hands a little.

"But the reality is we have struggled with this CANIDAE car; the reality also is we are having the normal problems like on any new car, any new tune-up. You've got to find your window. We seem to have found our window with the engine, but we still seem to be having problems in the clutch department. So we're going to address that and make sure that everything's proper. We're going to really attack that area and I think we'll see some good results from it."

Toliver will enter the gates at Heartland Park Topeka tied with Jeff Arend for 14th in the Funny Car standings but also has his sights set on those in front of him.

"Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) pays great attention to detail and is so well-rounded on the entire race car, and he's got it narrowed down," Toliver said. "And as I said, we feel good about the motor program, the way the car handles, and everything else, so now we're getting down to some fine-tuning and really getting after the clutch area. We'll get this thing figured out; it's just taking us a little bit longer than we would like. I think once we get this program figured out it will make us competitive, and you know, it's still not too late to make a run for the top 10, so that's our goal."

-credit: jtPR

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jerry Toliver