Bristol: Jerry Toliver preview

A nitromethane-guzzling, supercharged NHRA Funny Car motor is estimated to have between 7000 and 8000 horsepower, so when Jerry Toliver says his ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota Solara Funny Car needs to make more power, he's likely to get a glance...

A nitromethane-guzzling, supercharged NHRA Funny Car motor  is estimated to
have between 7000 and 8000 horsepower, so when Jerry Toliver  says his ROCKSTAR
Energy Drink Toyota Solara Funny Car needs to make more power,  he's likely
to get a glance of disbelief from, say, a NASCAR  fan.
But it isn't always the number of horses that determine the  outcome of a
race.  It's how they are applied to the racing surface and  where.

This week's applications will be at Bristol Dragway for the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals, Friday through Sunday.

So one of  crew chief Dale Armstrong's chores is to find an application that
will quicken  the Solara's pace through the middle of the track. "The good
thing is," said  Toliver, "that we are zeroing in on our issues.  Right now we
have a good  hot-race-track conditions race car that has been running right in
the middle of  the pack.  And that is good."
Toliver believes his Funny Car  is beginning to display the kinds of
performances that are necessary to contend  for race wins.  The team did get a late
start -- Toliver announced the  ROCKSTAR Energy Drink sponsorship at the season'
s first race -- and it is taking  time to get all the parts and pieces moving
in the same  direction.

The driver from Temecula, Calif., says his team "needs to pick up our Friday night qualifying performances so we can get in the show on that run. You usually can't get in the show on Saturday's warmer runs during the summer. For example, 15 of the top 16 ran their best times Friday night (last weekend at Norwalk, Ohio)."

So did Toliver, but his  4.893-second elapsed time was 18th best.  However,
in Saturday's hottest  session, Toliver's 4.925-second run was seventh
quickest -- right in the middle  of the pack.
"We are still playing catch-up," Toliver said.  "Everything is going well.
We have a good system on parts and the guys are  jelling as a team.  It's just
a matter of time. There are so many  factors.

"There's no magic to this."

-credit: jtr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jerry Toliver