Toliver's ROCKSTAR Funny Car Begins Showing Potential When it comes to talking the talk, Jerry Toliver is one of the best. And now, the loquacious Funny Car driver is beginning to walk the walk . . . at least as far as the performance of his...
Toliver's ROCKSTAR Funny Car Begins Showing Potential
When it comes to talking the talk, Jerry Toliver is one of the best. And now, the loquacious Funny Car driver is beginning to walk the walk . . . at least as far as the performance of his ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota Solara is concerned.
Toliver told anyone who'd listen that it wouldn't take long for his new team to begin running competitive elapsed times and speeds and become a consistent member of the 16-car starting line-up.
The team, led by Dale Armstrong, one of the sport's foremost nitromethane tuners, displayed some of its potential at Denver in the high altitude last weekend. Now both Toliver and Armstrong are looking forward to taking their performance to the next level which, in this case, happens to be sea level. The event, the team's fifth in as many weeks, is the Schuck's Auto Supply Nationals at Pacific Raceways in nearby Kent, Friday through Sunday.
The power issues that hobbled them earlier seemed to have been cured at Denver, where Toliver posted the event's fastest speed, 319.60 mph, and fourth-quickest qualifying time, 4.893 seconds.
"We zeroed in on the power issues and fixed them," said Toliver, who qualified a season-best fourth and scored his first round win for ROCKSTAR. "Now we have some power . . . and that was at Denver. We are constantly refining the program and I think we have caught the pack that was ahead of us. We are definitely looking forward to going to Seattle."
Toliver's 4.893-second, 319.60-mph qualifying run was an eye-opener for his peers. The speed was more than two miles an hour faster than any other Funny Car and was better than all but two Top Fuel speeds.
"Seattle is a sea level track and we will be running better there," said Armstrong, who guided Toliver to three victories in four finals and third place in 2000 -- his finest POWERade Series finish. "I think our Friday night qualifying program is way better than it was before."
The Friday night session has become the most important of the four qualifying runs because it offers optimum summertime conditions that usually aren't prevalent during the day.
Toliver returned to racing this year after a three-year absence. The team got a late start and didn't make its debut until the fifth race but has been improving with each recent outing.