TOLIVER GOES OUT EARLY AT ROUTE 66 NATIONALS JOLIET, Ill. (June 8, 2008) -- Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver entered today's eliminations at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals filled with optimism. After qualifying...
TOLIVER GOES OUT EARLY AT ROUTE 66 NATIONALS
JOLIET, Ill. (June 8, 2008) -- Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver entered today's eliminations at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals filled with optimism. After qualifying in the top half of the field (No. 7) for the second consecutive race and third time this NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season, the California native was ready to finish high.
In round one he was matched up against No. 10 qualifier and reigning Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon, whose team was recovering from a fiery engine explosion and crash during final qualifying. Despite having lane choice, Toliver was unable to capitalize on his strong qualifying effort, as the Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge shook the tires early and slowed to a 9.084/89.07 lap to Pedregon's winning 4.884/311.49.
"The Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge is starting to perform better at each race," said Toliver, who is 16th in the rankings aiming for the top 10 in order to compete in the Countdown to the Championship, "but I'm upset with our performance today. But one lap doesn't make or break you and we had a bad lap during the first round. It's unfortunate because it's getting down to crunch time and we have to start going rounds.
"I love my boys. (Crew chief) Phil Shuler is working his ass off to get this thing turned around. I've got the best guys in the world and they continue to work very hard week in and week out. They love this race car and they are going to do whatever it takes to get it right. We just can't seem to get any racing luck. I wish that there was something more I could do to help these guys.
"We're just going to continue to keep our noses to the grindstone and keep marching forward," said Toliver. "That's all there is to it. I have all the faith and confidence in Phil and the guys. On a positive note, we continue to qualify better and eventually that is going to transfer into winning rounds on Sunday."
The next race for Toliver and the Rockstar Energy Drink team will be the NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, NJ, June 19-22.