Toliver Advances to Semifinals at NHRA Fall Nationals ENNIS, Tex., September 27, 2009 - Jerry Toliver and the Jim Dunn Racing team turned in their best performance of the season when the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy advanced to the semifinals...
Toliver Advances to Semifinals at NHRA Fall Nationals
ENNIS, Tex., September 27, 2009 - Jerry Toliver and the Jim Dunn Racing team turned in their best performance of the season when the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy advanced to the semifinals today at the 24th annual O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex. Toliver defeated Jeff Arend in Round 1, Bob Tasca III in Round 2 before falling to Jack Beckman in the semifinals.
The CANIDAE car was fast right off of the team transporter as Toliver qualified a season-best third in Friday's night session with a 4.163 elapsed time at 302.55 mph. His speed was the second-best in qualifying and continuing its late-season surge, this was the second time in the last three races that the team had placed the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy in the top half of the qualifying field.
"Qualifying in the top half makes such a big difference," Toliver said. "You're assured lane choice and you're not always facing the No. 1, or No. 2, or No. 3 qualifier in the first round. Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) has the car in a tuning window where it really is reacting to what he's telling it. He just has so much experience with these hot tracks, and today he did a great job of getting the CANIDAE car to go from A to B and we were able to go a few rounds."
In the first round Toliver defeated Jeff Arend with an elapsed time of 4.277 seconds at 290.38 mph to Arend's 4.920 e.t. at 211.06 mph, reversing Arend's defeat of Toliver in their only other meeting this year three weeks ago at Indy. In the second round Toliver bested Tasca with a 4.354 elapsed time at 289.54 mph to Tasca's 4.588 e.t. at 261.17 mph but lost lane choice to Beckman in the semifinals.
In the semifinal round both drivers left the starting line with near-identical reaction times but Beckman pulled ahead as Toliver lost tire traction and had to pedal the car. Beckman also experienced trouble when he lost a cylinder but edged Toliver at the finish line with an elapsed time of 4.546 seconds at 218.55 mph to Toliver's 4.555-second e.t. at 214.01 mph.
"To say this was a good weekend for this race team would be an understatement," Toliver said. "We've been so hungry for a race weekend like this that I was ready to eat some of CANIDAE's Snap-Biscuits. This team works hard and is no different than any other team out here - it only wants to win.
"Yesterday somebody asked me if I was looking forward to playing the role of spoiler and I said I don't want to be a spoiler, I want to be a winner. I'm not out here to spoil somebody's day, I'm not out here to ruin his day, I'm out here to make mine. This team wants to win. Big Jim is getting this thing turned around and I'm proud of the guys."
The next stop on the 24-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals on Oct. 2-4 at Memphis Motorsports Park, the third of six races in the NHRA Countdown to 1 for the 2009 Full Throttle Series championship.