CONFIDENT TOLIVER SEEKING RACE VICTORY AT TORCO NATIONALS Jerry Toliver is on a mission. His goal is to win at least one of three remaining NHRA POWERade Series races this season. After missing the first four races, the garrulous Toliver...
CONFIDENT TOLIVER SEEKING RACE VICTORY AT TORCO NATIONALS
Jerry Toliver is on a mission. His goal is to win at least one of three remaining NHRA POWERade Series races this season.
After missing the first four races, the garrulous Toliver and the determined crew of his ROCKSTAR/AutoZone Toyota Solara Funny Car began playing catch-up in terms of competitive performances. And now they have pulled even with them in this highly unpredictable category.
No driver has dominated this Countdown to the Championship, creating a very compelling race to the finish line.
First up is the Torco Racing Fuels Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park this weekend. Eight drivers have won races and three are tied with a trio of victories this year. The level playing field, plus the fact Toliver believes his team has "found the comfort level, performance-wise," boosts his confidence.
"We were right there with the guys in the other lane at the last few races before our car spun the tires," Toliver said. "If we can get the racing gods to grant us a little luck, we could be on our way to a win. I think it is going to be an interesting three races. We aren't in championship contention, but we sure can get in the way of those that are.
"We want to turn things around, starting with round wins and adding them up to four on Sunday. I'm not that familiar with the Richmond track because this is only the second race since NHRA started racing there again.
"It is a crap shoot just to qualify anymore. For example, we got into the Dallas lineup and Robert Hight, the Funny Car points leader, didn't. That's the way it has been all year."
Toliver started 16th at Dallas and gave No. 1 qualifier Tim Wilkerson a battle until half-track when the Toyota's tires lost traction.
"We know we'll have good racetracks at the last two races -- Las Vegas and Pomona (Calif.)," continued Toliver, "and that will help some of the better-performing cars. We'll be getting after them. Our primary focus is to get a win for ROCKSTAR and AutoZone, and if we race the guys who are running for the championship -- and beat them -- that will help us accomplish our goal."