St. Louis: Jerry Toliver preview

erry Toliver's ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota May Be Race-day Contender in Midwest Nationals The harried look is gone. Along with it went the apprehensive appearance.JJAll is well -- or definitely heading in that direction -- in Jerry Toliver's ...

erry Toliver's ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota May Be Race-day Contender in Midwest Nationals

The harried look is gone. Along with it went the apprehensive appearance.JJAll is well -- or definitely heading in that direction -- in Jerry Toliver's ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota Solara Funny Car world. Not only that, but it would be absolutely fabulous should Toliver drive is way to one of the 16 starting positions in this weekend's O'Reilly Midwest Nationals.

After the hectic, albeit late, start to his 2007 NHRA POWERade Series season, Toliver says his team continues to make progress. He announced his racing intentions in February and two months later made his debut.

"We are looking forward to racing in St. Louis," said the veteran driver from Temecula, Calif., who is returning to competition following a two-year hiatus. "I won my first Funny Car race there in 2000.

"We tested Monday after the Atlanta race and we were pleased with the results. We discovered some issues with the car and were able to fix them. I think we are now in the groove and able to figure out our problem areas. It was extremely hot in Atlanta and our car went right down the race track. We want to do the same thing at St. Louis."

Toliver's best run of 4.895 seconds at Atlanta didn't put him in the top 16, but he and crew chief Dale Armstrong are confident the team can do that this weekend.

"The one thing we need work on is our Friday night tune-up," Toliver continued. "That's become the most important run of qualifying because the conditions are usually the best. We'll throw everything at it and see what happens.

"Obviously, we want to get our ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Toyota into the Sunday show. We're ready."

All-important qualifying times are Friday at 4 and 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 and 3 p.m. Eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m.

-credit: jls/jt

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jerry Toliver