Toliver Looks for Improved Outing under Lights at St. Louis Schick Quattro Funny Car Driver Won at Gateway Raceway in 2000 MADISON, Ill., June 25-27, 2004 - Staring at the mid-point of the 2004 NHRA POWERade Series season with the start of the...
Toliver Looks for Improved Outing under Lights at St. Louis
Schick Quattro Funny Car Driver Won at Gateway Raceway in 2000
MADISON, Ill., June 25-27, 2004 - Staring at the mid-point of the 2004 NHRA POWERade Series season with the start of the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, Jerry Toliver's assessment was honest.
"We need to improve," said the driver of the Schick Quattro Toyota Celica Funny Car.
The car's performance has been inconsistent and consistent round wins are needed if Toliver is to climb higher than 10th. His 504 points put him 93 - or five round wins at 20 points per - behind No. 7 Tim Wilkerson.
"We brought in Richard Hogan as co-crew chief with Keith Adams two races ago to see if we could get the results we're looking for," added Toliver. "In fairness to Richard and Keith, we knew it would take a few races to get things going, but we need some results . . . now. Tenth place isn't where this car needs to be."
There is one certainty: the St. Louis-area weather is going to hot and humid. That is consistent this time of year, and that's why NHRA scheduled the event to be run under the lights. Qualifying, for example, is and 6 and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Sunday's eliminations begin at 4:30 p.m.
"I enjoy night races," said Toliver, a winner under the lights at Gateway Raceway in 2000. "I think the fans enjoy it, too, because they get to see the header flames when the cars run. It is a lot of fun, but sometimes it's a little difficult for us to see."
The stop at Gateway International, not far downtown St. Louis, is one of two night events on tap this year. The other is at Memphis, Aug. 20-22.
This also is the third of three successive events and concludes a stretch of six races in seven weeks, begun May 13 at Atlanta. The series resumes at Denver, July 16-18, the first of three straight outings. It's followed by events at Seattle (July 25-27) and Sonoma, Calif. (July 30-Aug. 1).
"We all need a little time to rest up and see what positive steps we can take as we go into the last half of the season," commented Toliver, who has one win (Pomona, Calif.) and one second (Houston) in 2004.