Toliver, Grimes Have Positive Outlook Going to Route 66 Raceway New Tuner Making Improvements to Funny Car's Performance JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 29, 2004 - This week's NHRA stop - at Route 66 Raceway, Oct. 1-3, for the CarQuest Nationals - brings...
Toliver, Grimes Have Positive Outlook Going to Route 66 Raceway
New Tuner Making Improvements to Funny Car's Performance
JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 29, 2004 - This week's NHRA stop - at Route 66 Raceway, Oct. 1-3, for the CarQuest Nationals - brings with it a guaranteed (weather permitting) four qualifying attempts and a maximum of four (preferred) elimination runs.
While this is standard for all but one of the 23 stops on the POWERade tour, it does offer more opportunities for Norm Grimes to become more familiar with the nuances of tuning the nitromethane-fueled Funny Car.
Grimes took over as crew chief of Jerry Toliver's Schick Quattro/The Best Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Toyota Celica Funny Car two weeks ago.
Last weekend, however, the Toyota Celica got down a hot Texas Motorplex track in Ennis three times during qualifying with a best of 4.912 seconds that put Toliver in the No. 14 starting berth. The car shook in the first round of eliminations and Gary Scelzi beat Toliver.
But Toliver, Grimes and the crew headed for Joliet with a positive outlook.
"We were pleased with the progress we made and are looking forward to this weekend when we plan to continue improving," said Toliver.
Grimes is a veteran NHRA Sportsman tuner who has won five Alcohol Dragster championships.
"In all honesty, things went better in Texas than I expected," said Grimes. "The crew, racing program and car are very good. As soon as I can merge myself into the program we will start running better. It is a steep learning curve.
"We are by no means satisfied with our performance at Texas," he continued, "I believe we are ahead of schedule. I hope we soon will be able to start enjoying improved results. We made significant strides toward bringing this car where it needs to be."
Toliver won the season-opening race at Pomona, Calif., and finished second at Houston four races later. But the team was struggling when Grimes was summoned.
"I really believe our fans will see major improvement in our performance throughout the rest of the season. It started last week and they'll see it again at Route 66 Raceway," said Toliver.
Qualifying runs are scheduled at 4 and 7 p.m. Friday and 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday. Sunday's eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
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