Toliver has sights set on Indy win
Indianapolis, pre-race: Jerry Toliver and the Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team are determined to reach the winner's circle before the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series comes to a conclusion. And their sights are set on this weekend's 54th annual U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
"Any time you win a race it's big, especially with the level of today's competition," said Toliver, who did not make it into the Countdown to 1 playoffs for the top 10 in points, which begin following this weekend's event in the last six races of the season. "We want to go out and win a couple of races before the season is over. We would love to win Indy. If we could win Indy, it wouldn't make up for the poor season we've had, but it would sure help."
Toliver's racing heritage involving the biggest drag race of the year goes back to its beginning. His uncle, Art Chrisman, was the first driver to make a pass down the quarter-mile at the first NHRA national event ever held, in Great Bend, Kan., in 1955. Known then as just "The Nationals," it eventually moved to its permanent home in Indianapolis in 1966 as the U.S. Nationals.
In 2001, Chrisman made an exhibition pass down the track in Indianapolis to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the sport. It was a proud moment for Toliver. "It was just fantastic. I was so excited watching him make that pass. It was a very special moment for me,” he said.
"Indy is a special race. Fan-wise it's the largest event we have and people come from all over the United States to be there. You always get a lot of racers from the past and all the big names show up because it is the U.S. Nationals. It has so much history, it's the biggest race of the year and it's always exciting. I've won there as a team owner (Jim Epler, 2000), but I've never won there as a driver. I'd like to have that trophy on my mantle.
"It's going to be a great weekend, especially if we could come home with that winner's trophy. I love Indy."
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