Toliver makes field in No. 16
Gainesville, Saturday: Jerry Toliver qualified a brand-new Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in No. 16 at the NHRA Gatornationals today, posting a 4.973-second lap at 291.26 mph in the final qualifying session. This last attempt moved him out of an unqualified 22nd place following the first session into the final starting position in the field.
After rain washed out all of Friday's qualifying, Toliver had only two chances to make the 16-car roster. He recorded a 6.328-second elapsed time at 157.59 mph on his first try. On his second run he improved to a 4.973/291.26 lap to grab the 16th position and breathed a sigh of relief.
"We made the show by the skin of our teeth," said Toliver. "We were just lucky we made it in on the bubble. When you only have two shots to get into the show anything can happen. Look at our teammate Gary Scelzi. He didn't get in the show and thatís a good race car. It's tough on everybody when you've only got two laps.
"But tomorrow's a new day, it's race day, and you've got to be in to win. The Rockstar Energy Drink team has worked very hard and unfortunately the weather just didn't cooperate. There's not much we can do about it. You take what you've got and you go race tomorrow and you see what happens.
"We're struggling," continued Toliver. "We've got a brand-new car, so we're trying to get it figured out and it's going slow, but it'll get quicker. We'll be OK tomorrow."
Toliver will race No. 1 qualifier Tony Pedregon in round one of eliminations on Sunday.
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