Las Vegas: Jim Head preview

Jim Head, 'The Punisher' Toyota Team Think Conservative Head Thinks Conservatively - in Terms of Tune-up - Before Going to Vegas He'll be driving special Lions Gate 'The Punisher' movie-themed Toyota Celica LAS VEGAS, Nevada, March 30, 2004 -...

Jim Head, 'The Punisher' Toyota Team Think Conservative

Head Thinks Conservatively - in Terms of Tune-up - Before Going to Vegas He'll be driving special Lions Gate 'The Punisher' movie-themed Toyota Celica

LAS VEGAS, Nevada, March 30, 2004 - When Jim Head discusses being conservative in Las Vegas, the subject isn't limiting one's investment in a game of chance in a casino.

No, Head's concern is the tune-up of his Lions Gate Entertainment The Punisher Toyota Celica Funny Car.

"We need to be more conservative, back down the power and get down the race track," said Head, who will be one of 20 or more Funny Cars competing for the NHRA's Summitracing.com Nationals title, April 2-4 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"We ran good early (incremental) numbers when we tested here (January 29-February 1), but that was under pretty stellar conditions. It was sunny and cool," Head continued. "Those conditions will be much different if it's 85 degrees with a lot of sun on the track this weekend. It will be good for us if we get temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s."

Temperatures at the last two POWERade Series races at Phoenix and Gainesville, Fla., were warmer, making the racing surface slippery and tricky to negotiate.

Head and his crew worked on the car last week at his Columbus, Ohio-area shop before the crew left for Las Vegas. "It was good to see my car in the shop again," he said. "We were able to do a few things to the Celica body that should help us."

Although he's missed the starting line-up at all three 2004 races, Head believes the time is right for him to qualify among the top 16. He's been the 17th qualifier at Phoenix and Gainesville, winding up one-thousandth of a second behind the last qualifier at Phoenix (4.996 seconds to 4.997). At Gainesville, it was down to Head and Bob Gilbertson, and Gilbertson bettered Head's best time, 5.396 seconds, with a 5.378.

"I'm getting real bored watching the races on Sunday," noted the businessman/racer.

Head will be sharing the Lions Gate headlines with Kevin Nash on Saturday at the track. Nash, a muscle-bound wrestler is the co-star of The Punisher. He will unveil the new paint scheme on Head's car prior to Saturday's first round of qualifying.

"It's a wild paint scheme," said Head. "I think the fans will like it."

The special theme car is in support of Lions Gate's April 16th theatrical release of The Punisher. Based on the popular Marvel comic character, The Punisher walks through a world darkened by war, crime, cruelty, and injustice. He has no superpowers to battle the evil he sees - only his fierce intelligence, his years of combat experience and, above all, his iron determination to avenge those wronged by society's villains.

Thomas Jane stars as Frank Castle, the Punisher, who squares off against superstar John Travolta, the story's formidable villain, and his right-hand man Nash.

Head will have four qualifying opportunities: 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Friday and noon and 3 p.m. Saturday. Sunday's eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

Toliver, Head to Help Raise Funds for PKD

Jerry Toliver and Jim Head are joining former driver Arnie Karp to help raise funds for polycystic kidney disease research (PKD) during the NHRA season, beginning in Las Vegas.

The "Total Access" program gives participants an extreme close up look at the excitement of NHRA racing while supporting a good cause. "Total Access" participants will receive admittance to exclusive team activities and be able to visit with the drivers and crew members during an NHRA event. The will also receive detailed instruction about racing tactics and strategy.

Package prices are $300 and $150 and provide access to the team pit and hospitality area, lunch with team members, and a ticket to the day's races. Higher donation levels offer further amenities and team prize packages.

For information about how to sign up and take part in "Total Access" with the Schick Quattro and Lions Gate Funny Car teams call (866) 333-0397 or go to www.jerrytoliver.com.

TV Times: Qualifying, ESPN2, Saturday, 10 p.m.-midnight ET
Eliminations, ESPN2, Sunday, 11 p.m.-1 a.m. ET

-jtr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Arnie Karp , Jerry Toliver