TOLIVER EXCITED TO RACE IN FRONT OF HOMETOWN FANS POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 5, 2008) â€“ Jerry Toliver was born and raised in Southern California, the birthplace of drag racing and the home of this weekend's NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series annual ...
TOLIVER EXCITED TO RACE IN FRONT OF HOMETOWN FANS
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 5, 2008) – Jerry Toliver was born and raised in Southern California, the birthplace of drag racing and the home of this weekend's NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series annual season-opener, the CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona. As the nephew of NHRA pioneers Art and Jack Chrisman, the driver of the Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing this new season was born with drag racing in his blood.
"I'm extremely excited about the 2008 season," said Toliver, as he prepared for his fifth full season on the NHRA tour. "It's a brand-new team and a brand-new start. This is Rockstar Energy Drink's second year in the NHRA and teaming up with Don Schumacher Racing gives us a huge advantage over where we were last year as a single-car team.
"(Crew chief) Phil Shuler and all the DSR guys have really been great. They've embraced me and made me feel comfortable. When you have guys who work together with a common goal and have a good working relationship, it is a big part of the battle. I was very fortunate to have been able to join this team."
Toliver tested the Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T at the National Time Trials in Phoenix and was pleased with the results as he adapted to his new ride.
"We worked very hard during testing and it went well," he said. "This team is very serious and they're extremely good at what they do. I've got a lot of confidence in them. It was a new car and a brand-new seat for me. It wasn't the same car I was used to driving. Things were in different places, and it took a few laps to shake it down and get comfortable with that.
"The Dodge Charger R/T is a different car to see out of compared to all the other cars I've ever driven," Toliver explained. "You sit very far back and the sight lines are different. We made quite a few laps with a lot of scheduled shut-offs. I think we're looking very good going into Pomona."
"I love Pomona," said Toliver, who has three national-event wins here. "It's a great race track and I've been extremely fortunate here. I've won the Winternationals twice, once in 2000 and again in 2004, and I won again at the Finals in 1999. We'll have a lot of friends and family here cheering us on."
As part of DSR, Toliver will benefit from working with multiple cars and crew chiefs as he seeks to return to the winner's circle, and his expectations are high for the new season.
"We've got a top-notch group at DSR with these four Funny Cars," Toliver said. "We have every opportunity and resource available to us. We're going to run to make the Countdown and then race for the championship," he added. "That's our goal. We'll try to win a couple of races along the way and stay in the top half of the field and keep that momentum going all season."