Toliver, Armstrong Encouraged by Positive Performances Going into Norwalk A twinge of frustration zipped through Jerry Toliver when he thought about missing the starting lineup for Sunday's SuperNationals at Englishtown, N.J., but was gone in...
Toliver, Armstrong Encouraged by Positive Performances Going into Norwalk
A twinge of frustration zipped through Jerry Toliver when he thought about missing the starting lineup for Sunday's SuperNationals at Englishtown, N.J., but was gone in the veteran Funny Car driver's next breath.
"One thing I must remember is we have come a long way in last two months and, as much as I'd like to rush it, building a competitive race team just takes time," said Toliver of his ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota Solara Funny Car team. "I was disappointed we didn't qualify at Englishtown because we had numbers (elapsed times) that were good enough . . . but we didn't make them in the Friday night qualifying session."
Toliver and the team, led by another veteran, crew chief Dale Armstrong, now are focused on furthering their NHRA POWERade Series education one race at a time, moving to Norwalk, Ohio, for the inaugural Summit Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park, June 28-July 1. This is a new venue that recently underwent a multi-million dollar expansion.
"The bottom line is we keep making improvements, but it's a tough field out there," said Toliver, of Temecula, Calif. "We have to improve our Friday night tune-ups because it's that hero shot that makes difference -- if you don't make that you're in trouble. We ran in the middle of the pack Friday in the day session and we were eighth quickest in the day session on Saturday, so we're right there."
He posted times of 4.987 seconds on Friday and 4.995 on Saturday, but the ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota was 18th overall. Fifteen of the top 16 qualifying times came from the Friday night session.
"The thing is, the team is jelling," added Toliver. "It takes time for a team to get together and jell. Dale told me he 'feels better now than I have yet this year. I'm feeling pretty good about everything.' So that's good. He's getting comfortable and starting to get a handle on the car. That just doesn't happen overnight."