Englishtown: Jerry Toliver preview

Toliver, Schick Quattro Toyota Crew Seek Consistency at Englishtown Richard Hogan Joins Team as Co-crew Chief with Keith Adams ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 18-20), 2004 - Jerry Toliver doesn't mind telling everyone how competitive NHRA's Funny Car...

Toliver, Schick Quattro Toyota Crew Seek Consistency at Englishtown
Richard Hogan Joins Team as Co-crew Chief with Keith Adams

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 18-20), 2004 - Jerry Toliver doesn't mind telling everyone how competitive NHRA's Funny Car category is.

He's been a good example so far this season:

1. Sunday, Toliver raced Cruz Pedregon in the opening round at Columbus, Ohio. Toliver was the 16th qualifier; Pedregon the first. Toliver left the line first and reached the finish line in front.

2. In February, Toliver's Schick Quattro Toyota Celica started 15th in the season-opener at Pomona. Toliver not only began eliminations with an upset of the No. 2 driver, he marched through the field in impressive style, clinching the victory with a decision over Gary Densham.

3. In April, the Temecula, Calif., competitor was 13th and advanced to the final round, finishing second.

"It's tough out there. There's no question any Funny Car driver who qualifies for the race has a chance to win it," Toliver said.

Expect the unexpected during the K&N Filters SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, June 18-20. This is the first time since 1992 the POWERade Series has visited the greater New York City area in summer, when it's hot and the race track is slippery. Those are the conditions that usually cause problems, but, over the years, Raceway Park's racing surface has proved to be better than most during hot, humid conditions.

Although he's come through on numerous occasions while starting from the bottom half of the starting line-up, it's the handicap Toliver wants to shed.

"Do we want to qualify in the top half of the field and run consistently? Yes," he said. "We've had issues with that this year, but we are alleviating them one at a time. To help with that, we've hired Richard Hogan, who is a respected tuner/jack-of-all-trades, to be co-crew chief with Keith Adams. I believe that will make us a better team. He's helping Keith and between them, we believe we'll be stronger.

"Richard has a vast amount of experience. He's worked with Don Garlits and has had previous experience working with Alan Johnson's Funny Car teams. This was a real easy move for us to make because he's already been around a long time and he's been a part of Alan's teams."

The object is to improve the product, a goal Toliver, Adams and Hogan share.

"Our goal is to have the car go rounds," said Hogan. "There's so much work to do around the car that one person has a hard time overseeing it all. There's so much work to do these days, one person has a hard time overseeing it all."

Hogan, from Ennis, Montana, grew up in drag racing and began working with Marvin Schwartz in 1979. He also worked with Don Garlits, Kenny Bernstein, Don Prudhomme and John Mitchell before joining Alan Johnson's race team.

Toliver, meanwhile, believes Hogan can help solve some of the tire-spin trouble that's been plaguing him for much of the season.

Now is a good time to do that, too, because Toliver will welcome guests from Schick to Raceway Park this weekend.

"Schick's headquarters is in Milford, Conn., so this is the first time we've had a race in their area," said Toliver, "We're excited they are coming out to see what we do and what our sport is all about."

Toliver planned to have the Schick Quattro Toyota Celica on display and sign autographs at Schick's headquarters Wednesday.

Then it's back to work. Qualifying begins Friday with sessions at 5 and 8 p.m. and concludes Saturday with runs at noon and 3 and 3 p.m. Sunday's eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Densham , Cruz Pedregon , Don Garlits , Don Prudhomme , Jerry Toliver