TOLIVER MISSES THE CUT IN READING MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 16, 2008) -- Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver took a double hit of bad news today at the 24th annual NHRA Nationals in at Maple Grove Raceway, outside ...
TOLIVER MISSES THE CUT IN READING
MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 16, 2008) -- Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver took a double hit of bad news today at the 24th annual NHRA Nationals in at Maple Grove Raceway, outside of Reading, Pa. He missed making the field for the Sunday's eliminations and by doing so was also bumped out of a shot at taking part in the U.S. Smokeless Showdown $100,000 bonus race for Funny Cars at the U.S. Nationals in two weeks. It was just the second time in 17 races that Toliver has failed to qualify for eliminations this season.
Toliver made his quickest run of the weekend on his first qualifying effort with an elapsed time of 4.182 seconds at 285.17 mph, good for No. 5 at the time. He followed with runs of 4.186/268.87 (No. 15), 5.651/122.31 (No. 19) and 6.426/88.65 (No. 20).
He was clearly disappointed. "We're professional racers and not qualifying for a race is probably one of the most horrible feelings in the world for anyone on a race team," offered Toliver, who was No. 7 for the eight-car bonus Showdown entering the race. "Everybody on the Rockstar Energy Drink team works hard and they're giving 110 percent and working to the best of their abilities. I was never so ready to go as I was on that last qualifying run. I just knew the car was going to go down the race track, but it didn't."
Coming into the race Toliver knew that he needed to make the field in order to take part in the bonus event in Indianapolis.
"We knew we had to qualify at this race, even if it was No. 16, and we would have made the Showdown. That's kind of a bonus for the guys and I wanted it really badly for them. We just had a bad weekend. We were on a killer run last night and it knocked the blower (supercharger) off for no apparent reason and that would have probably got us in the top half of the field, for sure. This morning it spun the tires and this afternoon it just blew the tires right off. It's frustrating. We just can't get a break when we need one.
"It's not because there's nobody over here who is talented; we have a lot of talented guys on this Rockstar Energy Drink team. But I'm very upset about this and I apologize to Rockstar and all of my fans. We'll just have to regroup and head to Indy."