Toliver Advances to Quarterfinals at Weather-Plagued Reading Race READING, Pa., August 23, 2009 - In between rain showers and track "weepers" throughout the race weekend, Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver found time to get a round win and advance...
Toliver Advances to Quarterfinals at Weather-Plagued Reading Race
READING, Pa., August 23, 2009 - In between rain showers and track "weepers" throughout the race weekend, Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver found time to get a round win and advance to the quarterfinals in today's final eliminations at the 25th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Toliver qualified the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil Chevy 14th after two rain-shortened qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday to earn a first-round match-up with defending event champion and No. 3 qualifier Jack Beckman. In the first round, Toliver steered the CANIDAE car to an elapsed time of 4.327 seconds at 258.27 mph and the win over Beckman's 4.662 e.t. at 204.08 mph.
"What a miserable weekend," Toliver said. "But it was nice getting past Beckman in the first round. It has been awhile since we've gotten a round win, so that was a nice boost for the team and the hard work they've been putting in."
The second round was delayed more than two hours to address the intermittent "weepers" from the seeping of water from the rain-saturated ground through the asphalt, but when on-track activities continued, Toliver squared off against No. 6 qualifier Mike Neff. Unfortunately for Toliver, Neff turned in the quickest elapsed time of the round with a 4.239 e.t. at 275.39 mph to turn on the win light as Toliver broke as he launched the CANIDAE car from the starting line.
"We lost the burst panel at the hit," Toliver said. "But then Zippy (Mike Neff) goes and makes the quickest run of the round, so that's kind of been our racing luck this year. I sure wouldn't go so far as to say we're on a roll or anything, but this is a step in the right direction, and it's always nice to get round wins.
"Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) is really gearing up for Indy. He's won there before ('99 U.S. Nationals and '97 Big Bud Shootout) and always seems to run well there, so maybe this will give us a little momentum heading to 'The Big Go.'"
Next stop on the 24-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Series is race No. 18, the final race of the regular-season Countdown to 10, the 55th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis from Sept. 2-7.