TOLIVER OUSTED EARLY AT MIDWEST NATIONALS MADISON, Ill. (May 4, 2008) -- No. 14 qualifier Jerry Toliver, driver of the Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing, had a tough draw in the opening stanza of Funny...
TOLIVER OUSTED EARLY AT MIDWEST NATIONALS
MADISON, Ill. (May 4, 2008) -- No. 14 qualifier Jerry Toliver, driver of the Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing, had a tough draw in the opening stanza of Funny Car eliminations today at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway today. He lost that match-up to the very-competitive John Force Racing team driver Robert Hight.
Toliver posted a solid 4.910-second pass at 308.85 mph, but it wasn't strong enough to outrun Hight's 4.834/301.00.
The conditions at GIR changed dramatically today, going from windy, cold and overcast during Saturday's qualifying to clear, sunny and mild for race day.
"We just got beat," said a visibly frustrated Toliver. "The good thing was that the Rockstar Energy Drink car made it all the way down the race track. We're going to stay here and test tomorrow and we're going to get this thing figured out. This is a great team and we have great resources with Don Schumacher Racing. We will find a way to get to that winner's circle one way or another. We're not giving up and we're not rolling over by any means."
Toliver was encouraged by the Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge's three good runs during the weekend. "It's getting better," said the 2000 Gateway Funny Car titlist. "We just have no luck on race day. I'm encouraged that we went from A to B down that (less-favored) right lane today. We need a little racing luck and a little break and we'll start going rounds. We'll get this thing turned around and everybody will be happy. I just hope it's sooner than later.
"We take this very seriously. This is our profession. I feel terrible and I feel bad for my guys. It's a true test of one's character. I have all the confidence in the world in (crew chief) Phil Shuler and the Rockstar Energy Drink team."