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Toliver Believes ROCKSTAR Energy Drink yota Ready for Break-through Race Toat Reading Sure, it looks easy from the grandstands . . . NHRA Funny Cars blasting from the starting in a deafening roar and crossing the finish line 1320 feet later in a...

Toliver Believes ROCKSTAR Energy Drink yota Ready for Break-through Race Toat Reading

Sure, it looks easy from the grandstands . . . NHRA Funny Cars blasting from the starting in a deafening roar and crossing the finish line 1320 feet later in a little more than four and one half seconds at speeds in excess of 325 mph.

That's the spectators' viewpoint, but not so with Jerry Toliver, crew chief Dale Armstrong and crew. They've been doggedly piecing together the performance of the ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota Solara for four-plus months now and are beginning to see the rewards of their determination.

"We are making good progress," said Toliver. "We qualified in the top half of the field at Brainerd (Minn.) last week and now we are looking forward to continuing our success at Maple Grove (Raceway) this weekend."

The Toyo Tires Nationals runs Friday through Sunday, the 17th stop on NHRA's POWERade Series schedule but just the 13th for Toliver, who finalized the sponsorship agreement as the season began and missed four races.

"Everybody had a head start on us but we are very happy with where we are right now," added Toliver, who started eighth at Brainerd. "Dale and the guys are making a ton of power and right now we have to learn how to control it." That is much better than trying to make horsepower.

"Our performance definitely is taking a turn for the better. I'm confident and feel good about our chances at Maple Grove. We are already making the turn, but when we make the complete turn we'll be running with the leaders instead of the middle of the pack."

Toliver believes his 4.834-second qualifying effort would've been better had he not been the first car out for Saturday's best session. "We wanted to be safe and get down the track," he recalled. "We weren't able to watch other cars go down the track and make tune-up changes. We had the potential to run a high 4.70 or low 4.80, and that's good to know, too."

Those are the kinds of numbers Armstrong wants to produce this weekend, along with some round wins on Sunday.

-credit: jtr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jerry Toliver