Friday, December 11, 2009

Jim Dunn Racing Announces Paul Lee as Driver in 2010

Jim Dunn Racing has announced that Funny Car veteran Paul Lee will drive the CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevrolet for the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season.

Lee is a four-time national-event winner in the Funny Car category, winning once in 2008 in the IHRA Nitro Funny Car class and three times in 2004 in NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car.

"Paul is an experienced driver with the same kind of passion for drag racing that I have," said team owner and crew chief Jim Dunn. "He's been competing a long time and his experience will serve him well as he gets up to speed in the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil car. His company (McLeod Industries) was actually a sponsor of ours last year, so Paul is no stranger to the team and we're excited to get him behind the wheel."

The 52-year-old Lee finished a career-best fourth in points in IHRA Nitro Funny Car in 2008 with a win at the Motor City Nationals at Milan (Mich.) Dragway and runner-up finishes at Rockingham (also No. 1 qualifier) and Martin (Mich.). He finished ninth in the final standings in IHRA NFC in 2007 and sixth in the class in 2006 on the strength of runners-up at San Antonio, Epping (N.H.), Toronto, and Budds Creek (Md.). Last year Lee ran a limited Top Fuel schedule in IHRA.

The New Jersey native also has three wins in NHRA's Top Alcohol Funny Car class, all coming in 2004 when he finished in the top 10 in the final points standings. That year Lee took home the Wally at Atlanta, Topeka, and at his home track at Englishtown (N.J.).

"I've known the Dunns business-wise for some time," Lee said, "but to get to drive for 'Big Jim' is an honor and a dream come true. He is a living legend in the sport so I'm looking forward to working with him and the team."

As a businessman Lee was formerly CFO of Boninfante Clutches before purchasing McLeod Industries and its Weber Clutch brand last year. His impressive resume includes a BBA from the Wharton Business School at the Univ. of Pennsylvania and an MBA and JD from Rutgers University. Currently residing in Anaheim Hills, Calif., Lee is also an expert skydiver with more than 1,500 jumps in 18 years.

In addition to its driver announcement, Jim Dunn Racing will partner with Morgan Lucas Racing in the Team Lucas Corporate Hospitality pavilion allowing the team and CANIDAE to entertain guests, customers and regional employees at all 23 NHRA Full Throttle Series races in 2010.

Kirk Weeks

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

CANIDAE Off-Road Class 10 Team Finishes 2009 Baja 1000. Earns Prestigious Toyota Milestone Award.

Team CANIDAE Off-Road Racing capped off a successful 2009 season with an unofficial 4th place finish in the Class 10 division at the 42nd running of the SCORE Baja 1000 race. Official results will be posted within the next 10 days following final review of race satellite tracking results.

Now in its 42nd year, the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 tests cars and drivers over a difficult 672.85 mile loop course starting in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. The Class 10 CANIDAE racing team joined a field of over 300 seasoned competitors in this final round of the five race 2009 SCORE Desert Series. The Baja 1000 is desert racing's most prestigious event, drawing crowds of over 250,000 spectators scattered along the course covering much of the northern half of the majestic Baja California peninsula to and from Ensenada. Teams reported that the track seemed narrow this year, with many teams getting stuck along the way and battling a congested route through the harsh desert terrain.

This was Team CANIDAE's first year entering the "Granddaddy" of all off-road races. Driver Scott Whipple, with Patrick Gailey in the co-driver seat, started the race and quickly ran into problems with a broken axle at mile 30 on the CANIDAE 2000cc Class 10 GET-VW. The CANIDAE crew on chase trucks quickly got it handled and the team was back on course. With Whipple pushing the racer hard to make up for lost time and climb back into the race, the car broke an axle again at the 356 mile mark. Again the chase crew did a great job repairing their second broken axle of the day. Once repairs were completed, driver/owner Scott Gailey and co-driver Johnny Stroschein took over driving duties and began the team's 2nd half push to the finish. For the rest of the race the engine and trans worked flawlessly as a result of using quality products like Lucas Oil and Torco Race Fuels. The car's FOX shocks worked awesome without fading, but unfortunately before mile 630 the eyelet came loose on the right rear coil-over causing it to separate which cost the team additional precious time. Gailey did an excellent job getting the car to the pit at mile 630. Repairing the shock and another quick look at the BFG tires, which conquered the desert without a single flat, the team was back on track and crossing the finish line at 25:33:25, with an unofficial fourth place finish in the class 10 division.

"With all the challenges we faced in this race, especially with the breakdowns, I am so proud of each and every person on this team for the tremendous effort put forth by all to keep working hard, getting our racer back up and across the finish line," said owner/driver Gailey. "Everyone worked their tails off! I could not be more proud of all of them and our achievements together in this our first full season of racing with this Class 10 car. With barely half of all teams entering the race even completing the loop, just finishing the Baja 1000 is a feat in and of itself. To win a Milestone award in our first full season is a great testament to our whole team, their hard work and is an accomplishment we are all extremely proud of. I'd also like to thank my co-driver Scott Whipple. It's been a ton of fun racing together all season. Also a big thank you to our sponsor CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods along with our other sponsors for their tremendous support throughout the year. Finally, I need to thank Mike Stapleton and all of the crew at Wilson Motosports for their help sharing their knowledge and teaching me the ropes over the years when it comes to racing the desert in Mexico."

The successful finish of the Baja 1000 earns Team CANIDAE owner/driver Scott Gailey, along with co-driver Scott Whipple and the team, one of only eight Toyota Milestone Awards to be presented this year for the 2009 SCORE Off-Road season.

Toyota will be presenting these awards on December 5th in Las Vegas to the world’s toughest desert racers and teams for the 24th consecutive year. The Toyota Milestone awards go to those pro car and truck drivers who finish every required mile in the five-race 2009 SCORE Desert Series, the world’s foremost desert racing series.

Please check back at www.canidaeracing.com for more reports, race pictures and videos from the Baja 1000 coming soon.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Early Exit for Toliver at Season-Ending NHRA Finals


Jerry Toliver had the unique distinction of being the first racer to face the newly crowned 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car champ in eliminations when he and Robert Hight squared off in the first round at this weekend's 45th annual Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, and the Compton, Calif., native was hoping he could be the first to beat the new champ, too, driving the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy in front of a hometown crowd at Pomona Raceway.

Both drivers left the starting line with near-identical reaction times but both lost traction just past the 400-foot mark and the pedalfest was on. Toliver pedaled once but an auto shut-off valve slowed the CANIDAE car to a losing 5.195 elapsed time at 154.35 mph as Hight pedaled to a 4.842 e.t. at 196.64 mph. Toliver had a season-best semifinal-round performance at the NHRA Fall Nationals at Dallas in September and finished 14th in the final Funny Car points standings. This was Hight's the first Funny Car championship of his career.

"We had a couple of good runs our last two qualifying sessions, so I felt pretty good coming into today," Toliver said. "I guess it wasn't meant to be. But congratulations to Robert and his team on their first championship. They really came on there at the end of the season.

"And I have to say a big thank you to Big Jim Dunn, Diane, Jon Dunn and the whole CANIDAE Racing team. It was a privilege to be driving for a Hall of Famer like Big Jim, especially in his 60th year of drag racing. That's pretty amazing, isn't it?"

The NHRA recognized driver/tuner/team owner Jim Dunn for his 60 years in drag racing prior to eliminations on Sunday. [See video from Auto Club Raceway at Pomona]

"They just don't think I'm going to be here much longer so they pat me on the back once in awhile," Dunn said with a laugh. "No, it was pretty cool. It takes a lot to stay in the sport this long. You first have to be good enough to qualify. I hold a record of one kind. I've won a 'Wally' for the last five decades - each decade I've won at least one race. How many can say they won a 'Wally' in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and this one? Not very many.

"It was very nice. This is my home track and to have it happen here at the Finals - I really enjoyed that. It makes you think that maybe they did appreciate me coming out and doing all this. Like I tell people, I do this to entertain myself and I'll keep doing this until I can't do it any longer. If my car's running good and I'm not getting excited, then I'll quit. I still get just as excited now as I did 60 years ago."

"Just as a reminder, Jim's been doing this longer than NHRA's been in existence - 60 years," said Tom Compton, NHRA president. "He's a true pioneer of the sport. (I thank him) for sixty great years and all that he's done for the sport as well."

The first stop on the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule will be the 50th annual Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona on Feb. 11-14, 2010.

Kirk Weeks

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Three-Time Pomona Winner Toliver Returns for Season-Ending NHRA Finals

As with several of their NHRA Full Throttle peers, Southern California natives Jerry Toliver and Jim Dunn will be racing in front of hometown friends and family at this weekend's 45th annual Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, and the duo would love nothing better than to deliver a season-ending victory for their fans and sponsors in their Jim Dunn Racing entry, the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy Funny Car.

"I love starting and ending the season at Pomona," Toliver said. "It's a great track and it's fun to race in front of so many friends and family that don't normally get to see us. Plus I've run pretty well there over the years, so it's an easy facility for me to like. In fact, I got my first career win at this race in '99 when I beat Force in the finals. I probably could have called it a career right there, beating John Force at Pomona to win the NHRA Finals. But then we turned right around and won the Winternationals to start the season in 2000, so you can see why Pomona is my favorite track."

Toliver, a five-time NHRA Funny Car national-event winner, has had three of his career wins here at the quarter-mile track at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds. The Compton, Calif., native won the NHRA Finals in 1999, and followed up with victories at the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in 2000 and 2004.

"The CANIDAE folks are headquartered right up the road in San Luis Obispo, so I'm sure we'll have a lot of them out here supporting us and I'd love nothing better than to give them a win right in their own backyard. And Lucas Oil and WileyX are California companies, too, so that would be a great ending to the season.

"We have probably two or three really big, historic races at Pomona, Gainesville and Indy. I've been fortunate enough to have won at two of them (Pomona, Gainesville), but I can't think of anything better than to add another Pomona notch on my belt. We're going to give it our best shot."

Another racer spreading the message of Responsible Pet Ownership is one of the owners of CANIDAE, Scott Whipple. Whipple, a regular competitor in the National Sand Drag Association (NSDA), drove his CANIDAE/Lucas Oil Top Fuel sand dragster to the 2009 NSDA season points championship, putting an exclamation point on the championship at the series' season-ending race in Primm, Nev., on Oct. 24-25. The CANIDAE team not only won the event but Whipple broke his own record on the 100-yard track on three consecutive passes during eliminations with runs of 2.278 seconds at 162.75 mph, 2.273 at 160.71, and 2.239 at 164.16 mph.

A two-hour telecast of qualifying coverage for the Auto Club NHRA Finals can be seen on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD on Saturday, Nov. 14, beginning at 10:30 p.m. (ET). Coverage on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD continues on Sunday, Nov. 15 when NHRA Race Day kicks off eliminator coverage starting at 11:00 a.m. (ET), and concludes with three hours of final-eliminations coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. (ET).

Kirk Week

Monday, November 2, 2009

Put Yourself in the Driver's Seat for a Sand Drag ET World Record!

For those not lucky enough to have been there in person at Primm to witness a world record fall three times in one day, put yourself in the driver's seat and watch this awesome video of Team CANIDAE/Lucas Oil in action at the Dan Chittendon Fall Nationals. Top Fuel Driver Scott Whipple and his crew pulled-off back to back to back World Record runs down the 100 yard stretch culminating in an astounding ET of 2.239 at 164.16 mph in the finals to capture the 2009 NSDA season points championship and a new ET World Record. CANIDAE/Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Driver Mike DeNunzio and the T/A crew rounded out an exciting weekend finishing in the #2 spot in points for the season.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Toliver Misses Funny Car Field at NHRA Las Vegas Nationals

Las Vegas has not been a place of good fortune for the Jim Dunn Racing team this season as Jerry Toliver in the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy will miss Sunday eliminations at an NHRA Full Throttle Series event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the second time this year. After final qualifying today the CANIDAE car failed to qualify for the 16-car Funny Car field for this weekend's ninth annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals after also missing the field at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals here in April.

Toliver's first qualifying pass on Friday resulted in an elapsed time of 5.405 seconds at 118.03 mph as the CANIDAE car lost traction just past the 330-foot mark. In the second qualifying session Toliver made a solid 4.241-second pass at 279.15 mph to place the Jim Dunn Racing entry 15th on the provisional Funny Car grid.

Unfortunately the team couldn't build on that performance during Saturday's two qualifying sessions with the CANIDAE car losing traction again in Q3 and slowing to a 7.074 e.t. at 94.22 mph and then going up in smoke right at the start in the fourth and final qualifying session.

"The only luck we've had here at Las Vegas this year has been bad," Toliver said. "but I felt pretty positive coming into this weekend. We've been struggling with the car losing traction just past the 'tree'. We just can't seem to tune it out no matter which way Big Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) goes. On that last run we obviously went the wrong way and the car lost traction right at the hit.

"We've got one more race to get it right and I know nobody on this team is going to quit working. I've had pretty good success at Pomona and won a couple of races there, so we'll go there and try to add one more."

The final stop on the 24-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the 45th annual Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals on Nov. 12-15 at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Pomona, Calif., the last of six races in the NHRA Countdown to 1 for the 2009 Full Throttle Series championship.

Kirk Weeks

Thursday, October 29, 2009

CANIDAE Racing NHRA Funny Car Team Returns to Track at Las Vegas

Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver and the Jim Dunn-owned CANIDAE Racing team will join their NHRA Full Throttle Series peers in making a return trip to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for this weekend's ninth annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals. The premier drag racing series made a stop at The Strip earlier this season in April and returns for the 23rd of 24 races on its schedule.

"What's not to like about going to Las Vegas?" Toliver asked. "It's another first-class, Bruton Smith-owned track in a great city. And it looks like it's going to be cool there, although it might hit 80 on Sunday, so the track could be really fast and you should see some good times and great racing this weekend."

Toliver looks to get the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy back on the performance path it displayed last month qualifying in the top-half of the field at the U.S. Nationals and then a season-best third at Dallas. The Jim Dunn Racing team also had its best day of eliminations on the season at the Texas Motorplex when Toliver defeated Memphis winner Jeff Arend in the first round and Bob Tasca III in the second round before losing to Jack Beckman in the semifinals.

"We've had some ups and downs with the CANIDAE car this season, there's no question about that," Toliver said. "But we're real positive going into these last two races of the season at Las Vegas and Pomona. We owe it to ourselves, to our sponsors, to the Dunns to give it our best and try to get a win in these last two races.

"Like I said before, the Countdown to 1 is exciting and probably going to come down to the last round, but we're not looking to play the role of spoiler and ruin anybody's chances. I don't want to be a spoiler; I want to be a winner. We're looking to win rounds and win races, and that's what we're going to try and do."

A two-hour telecast of qualifying coverage for the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD on Saturday, Oct. 31, beginning at 11:00 p.m. (ET). Coverage on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD continues on Sunday, Nov. 1, when NHRA Race Day kicks off eliminator coverage starting at 2:30 p.m. (ET), and concludes with three hours of final-eliminations coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

Kirk Weeks

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Team CANIDAE/LUCAS OIL Top Fuel Dragster and Driver Scott Whipple Set World Record and Take 2009 NSDA Season Championship

Records were broken this past weekend at the 2009 NSDA Dan Chittenden Fall Nationals in Primm, Nevada. After a few flat tires heading up Baker Grade on Thursday, Team CANIDAE/LUCAS OIL settled in for a full weekend of racing action. Unlike their last outing at Avenal, daytime temperatures in Primm were comfortable, registering in the 70s during much of the day.

After some great passes on Friday and Saturday, top fuel eliminations began on Sunday with #1 qualifier, Whipple and Team CANIDAE/LUCAS OIL setting a new world record ET of 2.278 at 162.75 mph on their first pass. Whipple went on to break that record in round two with a 2.273 ET defeating Jeff Janoe. Heading into the final round, Whipple and the Team CANIDAE/LUCAS OIL crew were pitted against Geoff Gill and his excellent crew. Blasting off the line, Whipple again broke his own world record for the 3rd time on the day while winning the championship with an astounding ET of 2.239 at 164.16 mph to beat Gill's performance of 2.343 ET at 148.41 mph.
Congratulations to Whipple and the rest of the top fuel crew including "Famous" Amos Satterlee, Carl Boley, Amos Satterlee Jr., Scott Gailey, Daran Rupp, Bill Parks, Greg Henley and "Big E" for a fantastic team effort!
In the Top Alcohol class, Team CANIDAE/LUCAS OIL driver Mike DeNunzio was narrowly defeated on Sunday by Nick Januik. DeNunzio ran a 2.611 ET to Januik's 2.603. DeNunzio's best ET of the weekend was a solid 2.569 during Saturday's eliminations. While a points championship was not in the cards for DeNunzio, he ran some great rounds in a tough field of competitors. Mike and the Team finished 2nd in points in this 2009 season
A big thank you to the Top Alcohol crew of Steve and Tony DeNunzio, Lee and Ron Gutierrez, Steven East, Tony Carbone, David Rice, Dennis Bartholomay, Carl Smith, and the rest of our families and friends that made it out to support both teams in 2009.

As another exciting sand drag season closes out, Team CANIDAE/LUCAS OIL would like to extend our gratitude to the NSDA and everyone else involved for their dedication, hard work and commitment putting these events together for racers and fans alike to enjoy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Whipple & Top Fuel Team Capture NSDA Season Championship – Set New ET Record at 2.239!

Scott Whipple and the CANIDAE Pet Foods Top Fuel Sand Team capped off an amazing weekend of racing in Primm on Sunday by winning the Dan Chittendon Fall Nationals and capturing the 2009 NSDA season points championship.

On their way to the title, Whipple and crew put together three world class back to back to back runs lowering the ET mark each time out and culminating in an astounding 2.239 pass in the final round to set the new world record.

Round One: 2.278/162.75 mph
Round Two: 2.273/160.71 mph
Final Round: 2.239/164.16 mph

For more information and photos visit www.canidaeracing.com

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Team CANIDAE Top Fuel Sets New World Record!!


The NSDA Dan Chittenden Fall Nationals in Primm is seeing some excellent racing action this weekend. Scott Whipple ran Low ET of the day with a 2.321 in Top Fuel and hung on to take the #1 qualifying spot heading into race day.

Great job guys! Click for photos of the weekend at Primm and stay tuned for more updates.

UPDATE: THIS JUST IN. SUNDAY. WHIPPLE SETS NEW TOP FUEL WORLD RECORD. 2.278 SECONDS AT 162.7 MPH. AMAZING!

Saturday Top Fuel
Final Qualifying Order
1. Scott Whipple 2.307/165.54
2. Geoff Gill 2.311/NS
3. Shane Switzer 2.315/152.87
4. Jeff Janoe 2.568/141.22
5. Dennis Rieck 2.892/85.37

Saturday Top Alcohol
Top Alcohol
Final Qualifying Order
1. Gary Mink 2.492/138.37
2. Scott Carroll 2.522/141.22
3. Dan Allen 2.562/146.71
4. Nick Januik 2.567/134.06
5. Mike DeNunzio 2.569/138.32

Monday, October 12, 2009

Toliver Falls in First Round at Virginia NHRA Nationals

Jerry Toliver and Ron Capps met for the first time this season in a first-round matchup today at the Fourth annual Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park. Capps entered eliminations as the No. 2 qualifier and in the first round drove his NAPA Dodge to a winning elapsed time of 4.085 seconds at 309.27 mph to Toliver's 4.241 e.t. at 286.25 mph in the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy.

"Hat's off to Ron and 'Ace' (crew chief Ed McCulloch)," Toliver said. "They obviously had that car dialed in and just plain beat us. I think they had the second- or third-quickest run of the round so we had our work cut out for us.

"I felt better coming into today after making a good, solid pass in Q4, but we just couldn't build on it. The tuning window on this CANIDAE car is so small and it's tough to stay inside it on a consistent basis. We just need to get the car back to how it was responding to Big Jim's (team owner/crew chief Dunn) tuning changes at Indy and Dallas a few races ago - that's the challenge we have heading back to Las Vegas."

Del Worsham defeated Tim Wilkerson in the Funny Car finals and Force Racing's Robert Hight took over the points lead with two races remaining in the season.

The next stop on the 24-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the 9th annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals on Oct. 29 - Nov. 1 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the penultimate race in the six-race NHRA Countdown to 1 for the 2009 Full Throttle Series championship.

Kirk Weeks

Toliver Bounces Back to Qualify for Virginia NHRA Nationals

The Jim Dunn Racing team got right back to work after uncharacteristically failing to qualify for the Memphis NHRA race last weekend and placed the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy 15th on the Funny Car qualifying grid for tomorrow's eliminations at the Fourth annual Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virgina Motorsports Park.

After rain showers delayed the start of today's qualifying, driver Jerry Toliver drove the CANIDAE car to an elapsed time of 4.165 seconds at 283.79 mph in the second of two qualifying sessions. Toliver posted an elapsed time of 4.305 seconds at 283.13 mph after losing a cylinder in the first session.

"We're not there, but we're definitely heading in the right direction," Toliver said. "It's been a bit of a struggle this weekend, but we did run a lot better today and had our best run in that last session. The car made a full pull on that last run so that should give Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) some good data to work off of for tomorrow. We're still chasing this thing, but we're in the show and on Sunday anything can happen - you got to be in to win."

Toliver will face No. 2-qualifier Ron Capps for the first time this season in the first round of eliminations. Capps' teammate, Jack Beckman, is the No. 1 qualifier with an elapsed time of 4.044 seconds at 305.22 mph.

Kirk Weeks

Thursday, October 8, 2009

CANIDAE Team Concludes Challenging Four-Race Stretch at Virginia NHRA Nationals

A four-races-in-four-weeks stretch concludes for NHRA teams with this weekend's Fourth annual Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park, and Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver and the Jim Dunn Racing look to finish the arduous stretch on a high note.

Toliver had a late-season surge in the CANIDAE car interrupted last weekend at Memphis, but the affable Californian is confident the team can bounce back here at Richmond. He has qualified the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy in the top-half of the Funny Car field in two of the last four races including a season-best third at Dallas. The Jim Dunn Racing team also had its best day of eliminations on the season at the Texas Motorplex when Toliver defeated Memphis winner Jeff Arend in the first round and Bob Tasca III in the second round before losing to Jack Beckman in the semifinals.

"We made a solid 4.18 pass right off the truck at Memphis, but then the car just didn't want to go down the track," Toliver said. "Every run after that the car just shook the tires off before it even got to the 'tree'. Big Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) just couldn't tune it out no matter which way he went which is really surprising the way this CANIDAE car had been running. He had the car in a tuning window where it was really responding to the changes he was making and was making real consistent runs.

"That just shows you how temperamental these 7,000-horsepower beasts can be. It seems like the weather this time of year in Richmond always produces great racing conditions so we look forward to getting this CANIDAE hot rod back on track. Our goals are still the same for these last few races; try and win as many rounds as we can and hopefully get a race win, at it starts this weekend at Richmond."

A two-hour telecast of qualifying coverage for the Virginia NHRA Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD on Saturday, Oct. 10, beginning at 10:30 p.m. (ET). Coverage on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD continues on Sunday, Oct. 11, when NHRA Race Day kicks off eliminator coverage starting at 11:00 am (ET), and concludes with three hours of final-eliminations coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. (ET).

Kirk Weeks

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Toliver Misses Funny Car Field at NHRA Mid-South Nationals

For only the second time this season Jerry Toliver in the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy will miss Sunday eliminations at an NHRA Full Throttle Series event after failing to qualify for this weekend's 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park. The California native also missed qualifying for the Funny Car field at Las Vegas in April.

Toliver made a solid pass of 4.184 seconds at 295.21 mph in Friday's first qualifying session which was good for ninth on the provisional Funny Car sheet, but the Jim Dunn Racing team missed a golden opportunity to move up the grid during the cooler conditions of Friday night's second round when the CANIDAE lost traction and slowed to a 7.092 e.t. at 97.67 mph while several drivers improved their times. Unfortunately Saturday was more of the same as Toliver ran a 7.161 e.t. at 96.69 mph in the third qualifying session, a 6.970 e.t. at 93.10 mph in the fourth and final session, and he failed to qualify for 16-car Funny Car field.

"We tried to go for it Friday night and run a really good number, but it was too much," Toliver said, "so we backed it way down for the first session on Saturday to the tune-up we ran the 4.18 with in the same lane. It should have gone down but it shook, and then we just overpowered the track on that last pass. It was just too much for the track.

"Except for that first run on Friday we just had a problem of shaking it before it got to the 'tree'. Unfortunately we got to a spot there Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) just couldn't tune out, no matter which way we went."

The next stop on the 24-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the 4th annual Virginia NHRA Nationals on Oct. 9-11 at Virginia Motorsports Park just south of Richmond in Parkersburg, Va., the fourth of six races in the NHRA Countdown to 1 for the 2009 Full Throttle Series championship.

Kirk Weeks

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Toliver Looking to Win Rounds, Win Races in Season's Final Four Events

It doesn't matter to Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver that this weekend's 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park is the third of six races in NHRA's Countdown to 1. He's not looking to be a spoiler to points leader Robert Hight or any of the other Funny Car competitors qualified for the Countdown. After a solid semifinal-round appearance at Dallas last weekend, he and his Jim Dunn Racing teammates just want to continue winning rounds with the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy to close out the season.

"This Funny Car class is a tough, tough class," Toliver said, "and this team is no different than any other team out here - we're just trying to win. When I line up against somebody in the other lane, I don't look at them and think, 'Oh good, that guy is first in points or second in points and I can spoil his weekend if we beat him.' I'm up there for me, for my team, for Big Jim, and for our sponsors, just trying to win the race and go on to the next round. I'm not out here to spoil anybody's day; I'm trying to make it a good day for me and my team. That's what we were trying to do in Dallas and that's what we will be trying to do this weekend in Memphis."

Toliver is looking to continue the late-season surge the CANIDAE car has made, qualifying in the top-half in two of the last three races including a season-best third at Dallas. After a strong qualifying effort at the Texas Motorplex, Toliver went on to defeat Jeff Arend in the first round and Bob Tasca III in the second before losing to Jack Beckman in the semifinals.

"We had our best weekend of the season at Dallas last weekend," Toliver said, "but that was last weekend and now we move on to the next race. We want to win some more rounds and hopefully win a race before the season is out. Jim has the car in a tuning window where it's really reacting to what he's telling it on a consistent basis, so we'll see if this hot rod can keep it going at Memphis."

A two-hour telecast of qualifying coverage for the NHRA Mid-South Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD on Saturday, Oct. 3, beginning at 10:30 p.m. (ET). Coverage on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD continues on Sunday, Oct. 4, when NHRA Race Day kicks off eliminator coverage starting at 11:00 am (ET), and concludes with three hours of final-eliminations coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. (ET).

Kirk Weeks

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

CANIDAE T/F Team Takes First at Avenal – T/A Team Falls Just Short in Final

CANIDAE® Pet Foods Top Fuel Sand Drag Team, lead by driver Scott Whipple, took down the championship this past weekend with a thrilling hole shot victory in the T/F final over Geoff Gill. With daytime temperatures climbing well above 100 degrees, Avenal California's Sand Drag Track was once again home to fierce competition across all the divisions. Whipple and the T/F team earned the #1 qualfying spot going in, and then in an extremely close final, Whipple's 2.325 edged out Gill's 2.323 with the hole shot. The margin of victory being Whipple's reaction time of 0.13457 to Gill's 0.14107 for an overall edge of just .0045! Sunday's victory puts the CANIDAE Top Fuel team unofficially back on top in the race for the overall season championship, but by a mere 1 point. The 2010 Season Championship will be up for grabs when the season closes out with the Fall Nationals at Primm in October. Congratulations to Scott and the rest of the top fuel crew including "Famous" Amos Satterlee, Carl Boley, Amos Satterlee Jr., Scott Gailey, Daran Rupp, Bill Park and "Big E" for the great team effort at Avenal. And, a tip of the hat and thanks to Geoff Gill and owner/tuner Joe Bettencourt and his crew for another challenging weekend of racing and fierce competition on the track.

In the Top Alcohol final, Mike DeNunzio earned the Hole Shot as well but "slowed" to a 2.61 from his quicker qualifying rounds which wasn't quite enough to surpass Gary Mink's 2.46 in their final round match up on Sunday. Congratulations to Gary and the team on your win. Team CANIDAE's 2nd place finish on Sunday puts the T/A Team in 2nd place in the points standings. A big thank you to the T/A crew of Steve and Tony DeNunzio, Lee Gutierrez, Steven East, David Rice, Dennis Bartholomay, and the rest of the family that made it out to support the team. Both crews turned in great performances despite the grueling heat throughout the weekend. Thanks also to the NSDA and ASDI for putting on another great weekend of racing.

The 2010 season wraps up and season championships will be awarded at the 2009 "Dan Chittenden" Fall Nationals being held at the Primm Valley Resorts, October 23-25. With Avenal results this close there’s no doubt the season finale will provide plenty of fireworks for fans and race teams. There's still time to make your plans attend.

See you at the races!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Toliver Advances to Semifinals at NHRA Fall Nationals

Jerry Toliver and the Jim Dunn Racing team turned in their best performance of the season when the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy advanced to the semifinals today at the 24th annual O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex. Toliver defeated Jeff Arend in Round 1, Bob Tasca III in Round 2 before falling to Jack Beckman in the semifinals.

The CANIDAE car was fast right off of the team transporter as Toliver qualified a season-best third in Friday's night session with a 4.163 elapsed time at 302.55 mph. His speed was the second-best in qualifying and continuing its late-season surge, this was the second time in the last three races that the team had placed the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy in the top half of the qualifying field.

"Qualifying in the top half makes such a big difference," Toliver said. "You're assured lane choice and you're not always facing the No. 1, or No. 2, or No. 3 qualifier in the first round. Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) has the car in a tuning window where it really is reacting to what he's telling it. He just has so much experience with these hot tracks, and today he did a great job of getting the CANIDAE car to go from A to B and we were able to go a few rounds."

In the first round Toliver defeated Jeff Arend with an elapsed time of 4.277 seconds at 290.38 mph to Arend's 4.920 e.t. at 211.06 mph, reversing Arend's defeat of Toliver in their only other meeting this year three weeks ago at Indy. In the second round Toliver bested Tasca with a 4.354 elapsed time at 289.54 mph to Tasca's 4.588 e.t. at 261.17 mph but lost lane choice to Beckman in the semifinals.

In the semifinal round both drivers left the starting line with near-identical reaction times but Beckman pulled ahead as Toliver lost tire traction and had to pedal the car. Beckman also experienced trouble when he lost a cylinder but edged Toliver at the finish line with an elapsed time of 4.546 seconds at 218.55 mph to Toliver's 4.555-second e.t. at 214.01 mph.
"To say this was a good weekend for this race team would be an understatement," Toliver said. "We've been so hungry for a race weekend like this that I was ready to eat some of CANIDAE's Snap-Biscuits. This team works hard and is no different than any other team out here - it only wants to win.

"Yesterday somebody asked me if I was looking forward to playing the role of spoiler and I said I don't want to be a spoiler, I want to be a winner. I'm not out here to spoil somebody's day, I'm not out here to ruin his day, I'm out here to make mine. This team wants to win. Big Jim is getting this thing turned around and I'm proud of the guys."

The next stop on the 24-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals on Oct. 2-4 at Memphis Motorsports Park, the third of six races in the NHRA Countdown to 1 for the 2009 Full Throttle Series championship.

Kirk Weeks

Toliver Qualifies No. 3 at NHRA Fall Nationals at Dallas

CANIDAE Racing Team Continues Late-Season Surge with Best Qualifying Effort of the Season

Turning in their best qualifying effort of the season, Jerry Toliver and the Jim Dunn Racing team continued to make late-season gains by qualifying No. 3 on the Funny Car grid for tomorrow's eliminations at the 24th annual O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex. In yesterday's night session Toliver drove the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy to the third-quickest elapsed time at 4.163 seconds at 302.55 mph. His speed was second only to pole-sitter Robert Hight who qualified No. 1 with a 4.109 e.t. at 305.46 mph. With today's hotter track conditions no drivers were able to improve on their times from Friday and Toliver held on for his best starting position on the season.

"How about that, No. 3," Toliver said. "I said coming into this race that we just needed to do a little better job getting this CANIDAE car to leave off of the starting line, and that has come around nicely this weekend. Everything's going in the right direction. I'm really pleased with the speed we ran last night and the way we got down the racetrack.

"It was really hot out there today but we still learned something. When the track gets hot like today, the clutch wants to lock up and shock the tires, so we just need to calm it down a little with the tune-up."

Toliver will face No. 14 qualifier Jeff Arend in the first round for the second time in the last three races. The CANIDAE Funny Car pilot will look to reverse his first-round loss to Arend at Indy at the U.S. Nationals.

"We face Jeff Arend in the first round and we're fighting for a position in the points, so it should be a lot of fun," Toliver said. "I'm really excited about the way the CANIDAE car is running. Jim's (team owner/crew chief Dunn) got this in a window right now that whenever he makes a move on it, whenever he does something the car is responding which is a huge thing. A lot of times you pick a spot where the car just doesn't respond to what you're doing, but right now the car is doing what he's telling it to do and I feel pretty good about it."

Kirk Weeks

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Toliver Sets Sights on Texas Motorplex for NHRA Fall Nationals

After leaving Charlotte and the newest quarter-mile on the circuit, Bruton Smith's zMAX Dragway, the NHRA Full Throttle Series now heads just south of Dallas to its original "supertrack," the Texas Motorplex, for this weekend's 24th annual O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals. The all-concrete track was built in 1986 and has long been a favorite of NHRA competitors including Jerry Toliver, driver of the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Funny Car.

"Texas Motorplex was state of the art when she was built," Toliver said. "It was all concrete. I remember coming here for the first time 10 or 12 years ago thinking, 'Man, this place is pretty neat,' and I still think that. It's a narrow groove with the concrete, but that being said, it's also a very fast racetrack. Billy (track owner Meyer) has done a great job over there and they've got great fans in Dallas. I always like going to Texas and everybody should be in for a good time."

The NHRA Fall Nationals is the second of six races in the Countdown to 1 and is also the second race in a tough four-races-in-four-weekends stretch. Despite the challenging schedule, Toliver and the Jim Dunn Racing team have been working hard and would love nothing better than to wheel the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy into the winner's circle before the season's out.
"We just need to improve our early numbers," Toliver said. "The CANIDAE car went down the track each time at Charlotte, and that's a great thing, so I think we're dialing it in. We just need to get the car to leave better and improve our 60-foot time. If we can pick that up, we've got a hot rod.

"We've got a few more races left so hopefully we can bag a win for the folks at CANIDAE and Lucas Oil and WileyX and make them all happy. We're competitive, and if we can get this thing leaving early we'll really have something."

A two-hour telecast of qualifying coverage for the NHRA Fall Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD on Sunday, Sept. 27, beginning at 12:15 a.m. (ET). Coverage on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD continues on Sunday when NHRA Race Day kicks off eliminator coverage starting at 11:00 am (ET), and concludes with three hours of final-eliminations coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. (ET).

Kirk Weeks

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CANIDAE Racing Summer Recap & Race Store!


It's been a very busy 2009 season for Team CANIDAE. We haven't updated you much on the season's standings but a lot has been going on at the shop and around the country keeping us busy! First off I would like to extend our deepest condolences to our extended racing families in the Boat and Sand Drag Community. We have lost a few Great People - legends in the sports they chose. All of us at Team CANIDAE are deeply saddened by the loss of so many of our friends this year. We know they are all in a better place now and GODSPEED to Don Ermshar, Dan Chittenden, Richard Monteil, and Barbie Erwin. All were very sudden and unexpected and again our sincerest regrets go out to all their families.

As for the different CANIDAE Teams, we are currently doing very well in our MX outdoor ranks with a first place at the last race. The SCORE Class 10 car is currently 2nd in points coming out of Primm. The NHRA Funny car has been having its share of gremlins this year and hasn't had very much success. They do look great doing it though and are getting our message of Responsible Pet Ownership out to fans across the world. In the Sand Drag world we have had our share of trials and tribulations. With both Top Fuel and Top Alcohol in the top spots coming into this season, we have met with some great competition that has stepped up to battle with us race by race to try to keep us out of the “Top Dog” standings.

In Top Fuel, Scott and the Team CANIDAE Crew have been burning things up in the class and doing everything possible to take back the records and keep in the top spot in points. In March we actually raced the Baja 250 in Mexico one morning and then flew into Yuma from San Felipe Saturday night to qualify the fuel car for the Sunday race. It was pretty amazing, although fleeting, due to a very unexpected loss in the first round to the CWK team - great job guys! So far we have two wins in the New 300" Chassis that debuted this year and are #2 in points, only 10 behind Geoff Gill. The former Yankees Dragster took a lot of work and was a slight learning curve to get the combo down but after one race it was in the 30’s and soon to be 20’s with a personal best 2.26 at Avenal in May. Unfortunately we could not back it up for the National record. Not yet anyway. We have been torchin' parts and burnin' nitro to keep the CANIDAE Top Fuel car in the points race. Next race we will again be in Avenal on September 25th to 27th and we hope to see you there.

For the Team CANIDAE Top Alcohol gang we also were out in our new (new to us) chassis this season. Scott upgraded and we stepped into his old fuel chassis which is slightly longer, lighter, and stronger than the old chassis we had been running all these years. It got a proper retirement hanging from the rafters in the shop. It is a piece of art now for all to enjoy! Starting this season was very rough for us as our tune-up was a lot off and was hurting parts again at the first race of the season and we went out 1st round. Thankfully, with a collaboration of minds, we consulted Joe Bettencourt to assist in creating the new tune up for the car. At race 2 we were back in the game running in the 50’s the first day and made it to the finals but spun a main bearing and could not contest Nick Januik for the event win. By the next race we were back in the 40’s and were able to post a personal best 2.489 in Avenal this past May. Again, I have been coming up a little short against the current points leader Gary Mink. Gary and crew have been doing an amazing job with his new Hemi and again we swap rounds almost every time we meet. Love to race against them and this whole class has stepped up this year with blistering times from all the cars. Our cars are all prepped and ready with a few new tricks up our sleeves to edge out some of our competition. Thanks again, Joe! We have been running consistent 40's and the car could not be happier!

We hope everyone had a safe and fun summer and we can't wait to see you all at the races very soon! Please don’t forget to check out our New Online Store at store.canidaeracing.com for shirts, hats and apparel for you and your family! And keep in mind that for every 15 dollar item you purchase, CANIDAE will donate $1.00 to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation to fund cancer research in pets. Also, the first 200 orders will receive a free CANIDAE Racing Hat! Every day is a CANIDAE!

Mike DeNunzio

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Toliver Falls to Hight in First Round at NHRA Carolinas Nationals

The first of six races in NHRA's Countdown to 1 playoffs, the NHRA Carolinas Nationals, was completed today at zMAX Dragway. In a first-round match-up with Force Racing's Robert Hight, Jerry Toliver and the Jim Dunn Racing team matched its qualifying numbers but that wasn't enough to get past Hight. He went on to defeat Matt Hagan in the Funny Car finals.

"We ran our exact time from qualifying but that wasn't quite good enough against Robert," Toliver said. "That team showed they had a good hot rod by going on and winning the race. Overall I thought the CANIDAE car ran pretty good this weekend. It definitely ran more consistent and is responding to the changes Big Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) is making."

Toliver entered eliminations as the No. 14 qualifier in a tight Funny Car field, qualifying the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy with an elapsed time of 4.148 seconds at 301.74 mph to earn No. 3 qualifier Hight as a first-round opponent. In today's first round, Toliver ran a 4.147 elapsed time at 304.46 mph to Hight's winning 4.105 e.t. at 308.99 mph. Only four other drivers topped Toliver's speed in the first round.

"This is probably the most consistent the CANIDAE car has run all season," Toliver said. "Now we just need to pump up the performance a little bit and see if we can't go some rounds and win a race in these last five races."

The next stop on the 24-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals on Sept. 14-27 at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, the second of six races in the NHRA Countdown to 1 for the 2009 Full Throttle Series championship.

Kirk Weeks

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Toliver to Face Hight in First Round of NHRA Carolinas Nationals

In a tight Funny Car field, Jerry Toliver qualified the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy 14th for eliminations at the Second annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMAX Dragway. The California native ran an elapsed time of 4.148 seconds at 301.74 mph and will face Force Racing's Robert Hight in tomorrow's first round. Hight qualified third with a 4.096 e.t. at 307.09 mph and Cruz Pedregon qualified No. 1 with a 4.087 at 303.91 mph.

"This CANIDAE car ran well right off of the truck and we made two full pulls yesterday," Toliver said. "We weren't quite able to back that up today, but I thought we had a pretty good hot rod when we left Indy and I still do."

Only fourteen hundredths of a second separated No. 1 qualifier Pedregon from the 16th qualifier and all but one of the 16 Funny Car drivers broke the 300-mph barrier.

"Can you believe how tight this field is?" Toliver asked. "We're just a little more than five hundredths slower than Robert and that dropped us all the way down to 14th. Everybody is is bunched together so who knows what can happen tomorrow. I have a feeling the fans are going to be in for a good show."

Kirk Weeks

Friday, September 18, 2009

CANIDAE Racing Launches Race-Gear Store to Benefit Charity and Race Teams


The FIRST 200 Orders Will Receive Free CANIDAE Racing Cap and a Portion of All Proceeds Donated to Help Fund Cancer Research for Pets

Race fans, rev up your apparel! You can now go to store.canidaeracing.com to purchase a wide assortment of high-quality tee-shirts, hats, hoodies, backpacks, lanyards, towels, special collectibles and other gear from one of the most dynamic group of racing teams on the scene. In addition to the NHRA Jim Dunn CANIDAE Racing Funny Car, CANIDAE Racing is the title sponsor of CANIDAE Motosport Kawasaki XTreme Team Green, CANIDAE Motosport Kawasaki Team Green amateurs and the Official Pet Food of Kawasaki Team Green Off-Road. CANIDAE also owns its own world-record-holding Sand Drag teams and Class 10 Off-Road racing team, with a new Trophy Truck team set to make its debut soon.

CANIDAE has launched the online store in support of all of these teams where fans of legends like Jim Dunn and new champions like Tommy Hahn can purchase official race gear and merchandise.

"Creating an online store for our fans is just another example of how popular the CANIDAE Racing Teams have become," said Team CANIDAE’s Mike DeNunzio. "This new store lets us fill the demand for official tee-shirts and other merchandise that race fans keep asking for."

In addition to helping support all of the CANIDAE Racing Teams, CANIDAE Pet Foods will donate one dollar for every item purchased of at least $15 to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation to fund cancer research in pets. CANIDAE Pet Foods has a long history of donating to this fund through various charitable events throughout North America.

The store, which opened earlier this week, will continue to add new merchandise and collectible gear. In celebration of its launch, the store will offer for a limited time all items at 20% off the original price and an exclusive $3-off coupon good toward the purchase of any CANIDAE All Natural Pet Food product with every racing store purchase. The first 200 orders will also receive a free CANIDAE Racing Cap compliments of Team CANIDAE Racing.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Toliver Looking Forward to NHRA's Return to Charlotte

After the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series' auspicious debut in Charlotte with its inaugural race last year in Charlotte, CANIDAE Racing Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver is like a lot of his peers and looks forward to the series' return this weekend for the Second annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Track owner Bruton Smith's latest addition to NHRA's quarter-mile lineup (he also owns The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway, and Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.) is a state-of-the-art facility that drew huge crowds to this premiere drag race in the heart of NASCAR country.

"Bruton Smith seems to raise the bar every time he builds a new race facility," Toliver said. "All of his tracks are just gems on the circuit and the new dragstrip in Charlotte is certainly no exception. What a great facility and the number of fans that came out to last year's race was unbelievable. It was a great event and it's easy to understand why they are going to race there twice next year. We're certainly looking forward to putting on another great show for the Charlotte fans."

In the last two races Toliver has had a quarterfinal finish at Reading (Pa.) and a season-best qualifying effort at the U.S. Nationals at Indy, so the Jim Dunn Racing pilot looks to continue that performance trend when he first lines up the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy on the zMAX Dragway starting line starting with first-round qualifying on Friday.

"We ran the third-quickest e.t. in our final qualifying session at Indy, so now we need to work on backing those kind of performance numbers up," Toliver said. "The good thing is this CANIDAE car is responding to what Jim (team owner/crew chief) is asking it to do. That hasn't always been the case this year. We've got a good hot rod here, so I'm fired up going back to Charlotte."

A two-hour telecast of qualifying coverage for the NHRA Carolinas Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD on Saturday, Sept. 19, beginning at 11:30 p.m. (ET). Coverage on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD continues on Sunday, Sept. 20, when NHRA Race Day kicks off eliminator coverage starting at 11:00 am (ET), and concludes with three hours of final-eliminations coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. (ET).

Kirk Weeks

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Team CANIDAE Class 10 Places 3rd at SCORE Terrible's Primm 300


View pictures from the race here and look for a final race report coming soon. Congratulations Team CANIDAE!

Friday, September 11, 2009

CANIDAE Class 10 Live Coverage at SCORE Terrible's Primm 300


Log on for real time tracking of the CANIDAE Class 10 Offroad car #1008 as Team CANIDAE attempts another victory this weekend in Nevada. Head over to irctracking.com/2009/Primm/ on race days and click on car 1008 in the Class 10 division.

Cheer Team CANIDAE on as they contend for first place in what looks to be a competitive field. In honor of the CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods commitment to support canine cancer research, Team CANIDAE has volunteered to donote all prize monies to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation.


Click here for SCORE International website.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Toliver Falters in First-Round at U.S. Nationals


The good news for Jerry Toliver and the Jim Dunn Racing is they turned in their best qualifying effort of the season at this weekend's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park to start in the top-half of the Funny Car field for eliminations. The bad news is their CANIDAE/Lucas Oil/WileyX Chevy couldn't quite match that performance today and fell to Jeff Arend in the first round.

Entering eliminations as the No. 10 qualifier, Arend had an elapsed time of 4.174 seconds at 301.47 mph to edge Toliver who steered the CANIDAE car to a 4.194 e.t. at 294.56 mph.

"A couple of guys were smoking the tires before us, so Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) slowed it down and backed it off a little bit, but the car just didn't run the number we needed," Toliver said. "Even though Jeff's car outran us, I also got tattooed on the light and that doesn't make me feel any better."

Toliver made an impressive run with the the third-quickest pass in yesterday's final qualifying session, bested only by the 4.095 elapsed time of No. 1 qualifier Robert Hight and the 4.098 e.t. of Cruz Pedregon to qualify seventh for Funny Car eliminations.

"All in all, it was still a good weekend even though we hurt a motor on that run," Toliver said. "That wasn't good. But the real story is we ran a good number yesterday (third-quickest pass in the final qualifying session). The good thing is the car responded and did what Jim asked it to do. We've got a good hot rod here and I'm excited going forward."

The next stop on the 24-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the 2nd annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals on Sept. 17-20 at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C., the first of six races in the NHRA Countdown to 1 for the 2009 Full Throttle Series championship.

Kirk Weeks

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Success at Indy No Stranger to Dunn

Drag racing Hall of Famer Jim Dunn can reach in his memory bank and pull from more than a few successful appearances at O'Reilly Raceway Park as he prepares his CANIDAE/Lucas Oil Funny Car for driver Jerry Toliver at this weekend's 55th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at ORP. Unlike most, though, those successes at NHRA's most prestigious race have come as both a driver and then as a team owner/crew chief.

At the 1981 U.S. Nationals Dunn drove his Dodge Omni all the way to the Funny Car finals before losing to Raymond Beadle. Dunn matched that effort as a team owner and crew chief in 1994 when driver K.C. Spurlock advanced to the final round of Funny Car before losing to Cruz Pedregon.

"When I drove I raced against the best and the worst, and I've been classified as both," Dunn quipped. "But I loved the driving. The working-on-it part you had to do if you wanted to run because you didn't have a bunch of mechanics. We just did it in our garages. I enjoyed working on them but I enjoyed winning better. A win's a win, no matter if it's the U.S. Nationals or just a local dragstrip."

Dunn did himself one round-win better at the '99 U.S. Nationals when he wrenched his own Pontiac Firebird with driver Frank Pedregon past Jim Epler for the Funny Car crown. Ironically, Epler was driving a second WWF-sponsored car for team owner/driver Jerry Toliver. Dunn even found success in the now-defunct Big Bud Shootout, a special event held on U.S. Nationals weekend where the top-eight drivers who earned points through qualifying throughout the previous year battled for the $100,000 winner's check. In 1997 Kenji Okazaki won the Shootout in a Dunn-tuned Dodge Avenger when he defeated Tony Pedregon in the finals with a 4.972 elapsed time at 308.32 mph.

"The U.S. Nationals win in '99 with Frank Pedregon when he beat Jim Epler was a big one," Dunn said, "but they are all big. The one I'm probably the most proud of was when we won the Big Bud Shootout with Kenji Okazaki in 1997. The last round he ran in the 'fours' and at that time there were only about five guys that had run in the 'fours,' so I think I enjoyed that one the most."

The Jim Dunn Racing team is coming off Toliver's advancing to the quarterfinals at Reading two weeks ago and look to build on that performance and create some memories of their own at O'Reilly Raceway Park this weekend.

ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise more than 10 hours of coverage of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil beginning with a two-and-a-half-hour qualifying show on Sunday, Sept. 6, at 11:30 a.m. (ET). A two-hour qualifying show will air later that day on ESPN2 at 5:00 p.m. (ET). On Monday, Sept. 7, ESPN2 will televise a one-hour NHRA Race Day from the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals preview show at noon (ET), followed by a five-hour eliminations show starting at 1:00 p.m. (ET).

Kirk Weeks

Monday, August 24, 2009

Toliver Advances to Quarterfinals at Weather-Plagued Reading Race

In between rain showers and track "weepers" throughout the race weekend, Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver found time to get a round win and advance to the quarterfinals in today's final eliminations at the 25th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

Toliver qualified the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil Chevy 14th after two rain-shortened qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday to earn a first-round match-up with defending event champion and No. 3 qualifier Jack Beckman. In the first round, Toliver steered the CANIDAE car to an elapsed time of 4.327 seconds at 258.27 mph and the win over Beckman's 4.662 e.t. at 204.08 mph.

"What a miserable weekend," Toliver said. "But it was nice getting past Beckman in the first round. It has been awhile since we've gotten a round win, so that was a nice boost for the team and the hard work they've been putting in."

The second round was delayed more than two hours to address the intermittent "weepers" from the seeping of water from the rain-saturated ground through the asphalt, but when on-track activities continued, Toliver squared off against No. 6 qualifier Mike Neff. Unfortunately for Toliver, Neff turned in the quickest elapsed time of the round with a 4.239 e.t. at 275.39 mph to turn on the win light as Toliver broke as he launched the CANIDAE car from the starting line.

"We lost the burst panel at the hit," Toliver said. "But then Zippy (Mike Neff) goes and makes the quickest run of the round, so that's kind of been our racing luck this year. I sure wouldn't go so far as to say we're on a roll or anything, but this is a step in the right direction, and it's always nice to get round wins.

"Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) is really gearing up for Indy. He's won there before ('99 U.S. Nationals and '97 Big Bud Shootout) and always seems to run well there, so maybe this will give us a little momentum heading to 'The Big Go.'"

Next stop on the 24-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Series is race No. 18, the final race of the regular-season Countdown to 10, the 55th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis from Sept. 2-7.

by Kirk Weeks



Responsible Pet Ownership Tip of the Day
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Toliver to Start 14th after Rain-Shortened Qualifying at Reading

Rain hampered qualifying and limited teams to a single session both today and Friday for the 25th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. After more than a four-hour rain delay yesterday Jerry Toliver drove the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil Chevy Funny Car to a 4.289-second elapsed time at 276.52 mph to claim the 12th qualifying spot on the provisional Funny Car grid.

Rain and track "weepers," water seeping through the asphalt at the top end of Maple Grove Raceway's quarter-mile, limited today's qualifying to another single session and Toliver was unable to improve his time and dropped to the 14th qualifying position. Ashley Force Hood was the No. 1 qualifier with a 4.114 e.t. at 301.47 mph.

"Weekends like this are the kind that are tough on the teams and make crew chiefs just want to pull their hair out," Toliver said. "With the rain delays we don't know if or when we're going to run, and then when we do, it's a real challenge to tune these cars to get down the track. We had a good, safe pass last night but just couldn't back it up today. But everybody's in the same boat, so hopefully the weather cooperates tomorrow and we'll see what the CANIDAE can do."

Toliver faces No. 3 qualifier Jack Beckman in tomorrow's first round of eliminations.

by Kirk Weeks



Responsible Pet Ownership Tip of the Day
"There are two schools of thought when considering spaying or neutering a dog. Do you realize that by spaying or neutering your dog, you may actually be ...." (keep reading this Responsible Pet Ownership article brought to you by CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Toliver Looks to Continue CANIDAE Car's Improvement

Last week at Brainerd CANIDAE Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver and the Jim Dunn Racing team turned in a season-best qualifying effort, and now they return to the track with the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil Chevy for this weekend's 25th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway determined to build on that performance.

"Last week we improved our performance each time down the track," Toliver said, "so that's a positive, but now we need to keep building on that. We need to consistently qualifying in the top half of the field so we can improve our chances to go rounds on Sunday, and then we'll have something to build on so we can compete for a win.

"We're not over the hump yet, but, man, Jim and this team keep working hard and I think that showed last week. Now we need to continue to improve. This is a tough class and a tough business, and if it were easy everybody would be doing it. But we're not giving up and now we get to put on a show for these great East Coast fans. They really support their drag racing so it's always nice coming out here."

A two-hour telecast of qualifying coverage for the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD on Sunday, Aug. 23, beginning at 1:00 a.m. (ET). Coverage on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD continues on Sunday when NHRA Race Day kicks off eliminator coverage starting at 11:30 am (ET), and concludes with three hours of final-eliminations coverage beginning at 10:00 p.m. (ET).

Kirk Weeks

Sunday, August 16, 2009

CANIDAE Racing NHRA Brainerd Results

After a near three-hour delay, a rain-interrupted final day of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway was finally completed, and CANIDAE Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver lost in his first-round match-up with Del Worsham.

Toliver qualified a season-best ninth for eliminations with a 4.209 e.t. at 296.50 mph, and the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil Chevy had the second-fastest speed through qualifying. In the first round Worsham had a winning elapsed time of 4.150 seconds at 302.62 mph to best Toliver's 4.299 e.t. at 289.20 mph. Tony Pedregon defeated Ron Capps in the Funny Car finals.

"Give Worsham and their team credit," Toliver said. "They stepped it up a little bit from qualifying and we fell off a little, and when it's 8 (qualifier) vs. 9 (qualifier) that's all it takes. But we'll take away some positives from Brainerd.

"We had our best qualifying effort of the season, and we had the second-best speed in qualifying, so Big Jim (team owner/crew chief) is obviously making some horsepower. We just need to be more consistent, and as we showed here this weekend, nobody on this team is giving up, so we pack up and get back after it at Reading."

Next stop on the 24-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Series is race No. 17, the 25th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., from Aug. 20-23.

Kirk Weeks

Toliver Turns in Season-Best Qualifying Effort at Brainerd

Qualifying was completed today for the 28th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, and Jerry Toliver drove the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil Chevy Funny Car to his best qualifying position of the season with a 4.209-second elapsed time at 296.50 mph to claim the ninth qualifying spot on the Funny Car grid. Toliver's speed was second-fastest in the class for the weekend, only being bested by No. 1 qualifier Mike Neff. Neff had a 4.126 e.t. at 304.46 mph.

"We got better with each qualifying run," Toliver said, "and it's nice to see the hard work put in by Jim (team owner /crew chief Dunn) and the team start to show on the track. The next step is to carry it over into consistent runs on Sunday so hopefully we can do that."

After yesterday's two qualifying sessions, today's qualifying was rain-shortened to just one round, and Toliver will face No. 8 qualifier Del Worsham in the first round of eliminations.

"We would've liked another round to try and move up into the top half of the field, but I don't think lane choice is going to be that big of an issue here at Brainerd. We just need to build some momentum from qualifying and get some round wins."

Kirk Weeks

Friday, August 14, 2009

Toliver Anxious to Get Back on Track at Brainerd

After a two-week break most NHRA teams are anxious to get back on the quarter-mile for this weekend's 28th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, and for Jerry Toliver, driver of the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil Funny Car, truer words may have never been spoken.

"For some reason I looked at the schedule wrong and I actually had a flight booked and was ready to go to Brainerd last week," Toliver laughed. "It's funny because I looked on NHRA.com where they count down the days to the next race and when it said eight days and so many hours, I just thought they hadn't updated it. Then it registered and I thought, 'You dummy, Brainerd's next week.' Oh well, I rebooked my flight and I'm ready to go.

"The biggest problem we're having is we're not qualifying the CANIDAE car high enough. We're getting knocked out first round by cars that have just plain out-qualified us. We need to step it up and Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) is working really hard on that. We're working hard to get to the next level and then be consistent with what we have. There are just too many good cars out here so you've got to be there."

The Jim Dunn Racing team had good performance numbers with the CANIDAE car at Norwalk, prior to the just-completed Western Swing, matching its best qualifying effort of the season and posting the second-fastest speed of the meet. Toliver and the team now look to regain some of that momentum starting this weekend at Brainerd.

"I'm not going to say we can't get over this hump, we just haven't gotten over it up to this point," Toliver said. "We're certainly not going to roll over and quit trying. We're going to keep working hard and see if we can't get this thing turned around. Making the top 10 is out of the question, but we want to make a good showing and finish the year strong."

A one-hour telecast of qualifying coverage for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD on Saturday, Aug. 15, beginning at 6:00 p.m. (ET). Coverage on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD continues on Sunday, Aug. 16, when NHRA Race Day kicks off eliminator coverage starting at 11:00 am (ET), and concludes with three hours of final-eliminations coverage beginning at 10:00 p.m. (ET).

Kirk Weeks

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

CANIDAE Motosport.com Kawasaki Takes Loretta Lynn’s by Storm!

Nothing could stop the CANIDAE Motosport.com Kawasaki team at the Ranch. Not Mother Nature. Not the tough competition. Not the rough track. Nothing! Team CANIDAE steam rolled over the competition with seven moto wins, six runner ups and a total of 16 podium spots not to mention two National Titles from this team; not a bad weekend for the boys in Green.

Zack Freeberg had a good weekend, but some transmission troubles in his 450 moto kept him from a podium spot in this class. Zack would bounce back and podium two out of three times with a 4/3/3 for a 3rd overall in the 250B class. This kid is going to be a name to watch in the near future, you can count on that.

Justin Bogle also had a good weekend as he competed in the Schoolboy B/C (12-16) class on his 125cc Kawasaki and the Schoolboy B/C (14-16) class on his 250F Kawasaki. Justin struggled with starts on the 125 and just missed the podium in this class, but made up for it with triple deuces on the 250. With his 2/2/2 finish, he took home the silver medal and sent notice to the other riders just who is the one to beat next year.

Malcolm Stewart showed tremendous heart and perseverance during a week when the Florida rider could not buy a start. Malcolm clawed his way to the top in almost every moto he raced. In the Four Stroke class, he finished second overall for the week with a 1/6/1 performance. In 450A, Malcolm was consistent with three, second place finishes for another silver medal. Watch this kid next year as he continues to dial in his program.

Dean Wilson came to Loretta Lynn’s as the man to beat and he did not disappoint. If it were not for his first moto in the 250A class, Dean would have swept every moto he competed in the entire week. He finished 3/1/1 in the class for his first National Title of the weekend, then walked away with the 450A/ProSport Championship with a 1/1/1 tally. Dean proved that his amazing year is no fluke and he is ready for the stardom that is coming his way.

CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods could not be more proud of their team, the riders, the mechanics and the families that make this program the elite powerhouse that it is. The entire ream works tirelessly to improve and represent themselves and their sponsors at the highest level. We at CANIDAE salute you fine young men for a job well done.

Jason Cobb

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

CANIDAE Motosport.com Kawasaki Heads to the Pacific Northwest

By now, the motocross industry has become accustom to the abilities of the CANIDAE Motosport.com Kawasaki team at the Outdoor Nationals. At the beginning of the series, Tommy Hahn was a “surprise” but has consistently become a “contender” and most racers are beginning to expect him to run up front as they now have to plan their attack to include him. Kyle Cunningham has also been improving his results steadily as his health nears 100% and if Cunningham manages to get a good start, watch out! This week the series moved to the scenic Pacific Northwest at the ever-popular Washougal MX in Washington and the crowds came out to enjoy the great racing, perfect weather and improved track. Nobody went home disappointed.

First up was the 450’s featuring CANIDAE Motosport.com Kawasaki rider Tommy Hahn. Hahn again jumped out to a great start and would finish lap 1 in 3rd place. Just ahead of Hahn was the # 34 of Matt Goerke but only for a few corners as Hahn wasted little time getting around the #34 bike and setting his eyes on the race leader, Chad Reed. Reed tried as he might to get away early and gap the rest of the field but Hahn would have none of that, running most of the moto right on Reed’s rear fender. At one point Reed opened up a small 5-second lead while the two riders fought their way through lapped riders but Hahn would make a charge and close the gap to only 1.5 seconds at one point before running out of time at the end of Moto # 1. This is a huge accomplishment and just a glimpse of what this CANIDAE Motosport.com Kawasaki rider is capable of. If Hahn could have a solid second moto, he would secure a top 3 overall finish for the day or even a win.

Moto # 1 for the 250 riders was up next and CANIDAE Motosport.com Kawasaki riders Kyle Cunningham and PJ Larsen would get good starts as they charged into the first corner inside the top ten. Cunningham would finish lap 1 in 6th place and Larsen 8th. Kyle started the 2009 season injured and has been battling all series long to get healthy with results that reflect his improving health. Cunningham jumped and raced his way to the front following Dungy through the pack until the two were well out in front. Cunningham was almost able to take the lead, late in the moto as Dungy would falter but the gap was too great and when the checkered flags flew, Kyle would find himself on the podium in second place with his best finish of the year! Washougal was the first for Larsen since breaking his wrist at round 3 in Wortham, TX, it was obvious that he was not quite 100% as he struggled to keep the lead pack in sight and would finish in 15th place. Certainly not a bad return for the impressive rookie and a great start on the day for Team CANIDAE Motosport.com Kawasaki!

The excitement was obviously high in the CANIDAE Motosport.com Kawasaki pits was for the 2nd Motos. As the 450’s shot out of the gate, Hahn’s # 48 Kawasaki would once again head for the first turn towards the front of the pack. As the riders set up for the left hand turn, the orange #114 bike of Justin Brayton would come in way too hot and slam into the CANIDAE Motosport.com Kawasaki rider, sending him to the ground, ending his day and sending him to the Asterisk Medical Unit to be checked out for internal injuries as well as his back and leg. Such a disappointment for Hahn and the team, which had been making such great strides for that first win. Hahn will rebound and will be better than ever when the series returns in 3 weeks in NY.

Moto #2 for the 250 riders would get underway and Kyle was hungry to repeat his first moto result. As the racers rounded the first turn, both Cunningham and Larsen would be outside of the top 10 and have their work cut out to make it to the front. When the first lap ended, Cunningham would cross the line in 12th place and Larsen in 18th. Cunningham would charge hard until he was unfortunately involved in a huge crash that left the CANIDAE rider trapped under his bike for some time and the bike unrideable, ending his day. Larsen would move up as the moto continued as he fought for a hard-earned 14th spot, a gritty performance for this tough kid.

While the CANIDAE Motosport.com Kawasaki team had some bad luck in Washington, it was obvious to see that the team is a legitimate front-runner. Come out to the fabled Unadilla Valley Sports Center in Upstate NY on August 15th for the next exciting round of motocross action. Stop by and say “hi” to the CANIDAE Motosport.com Kawasaki team before they hit the track. See you there!

Jason Cobb

Monday, July 27, 2009

Toliver Loses First-Round Match-up with Neff at Sonoma

Final eliminations for the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway were completed today and CANIDAE Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver lost in a first-round match-up with Mike Neff. It was the third meeting this season between the two Funny Car combatants as Toliver defeated the Force Racing driver at Gainesville in March and Neff defeated Toliver last month at Englishtown.

Toliver qualified the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil Chevy 15th with an elapsed time of 4.312 seconds at 290.57 mph. In the first round Neff had a winning elapsed time of 4.127 seconds at 302.35 mph as Toliver lost traction before the 330-foot mark and slowed to a 7.945 e.t. at 78.66 mph.

"We're just really struggling with that first part of the track," Toliver said. "We can't seem to find any consistency with this CANIDAE car. We're making one or two decent qualifying passes, but then we shake the tires in the first 300 feet on the other runs. That makes it tough on Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) to tune the car for Sunday when we aren't making full pulls. We knew we had to step it up against Neff and the car just didn't like it."

Next stop on the 24-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Series is race No. 16, the 28th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd Int'l. Raceway in Brainerd, Minn., from Aug. 13-16.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Toliver will be Close to Home for FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals

Like a lot of his fellow NHRA drag racing peers, CANIDAE/Lucas Oil Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver was born and raised in Southern California. This weekend's 15th stop on the 24-race NHRA Full Throttle Series, the 22nd annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway just north of San Francisco, is in state and will almost be a "home" game for him and his California based sponsor CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods. Major associate sponsor WileyX is also based in California just outside of Oakland in Livermore.

"Historically, I haven't done that well at the Sonoma race," Toliver said. "In 2000 we suffered our only DNQ of the season there and it was just devastating. (John) Force passed me for the points lead that weekend and we never did recover and he went on to win the championship (Toliver finished a career-best 3rd in points). But I like Sonoma, it's beautiful up there and close to home, but on the track I've got some making up to do. Maybe I've got some equity built up in the luck bank and it will pay out this weekend.

"It's going to be hot which really puts us right there on par with the rest of the field. I think the hot tracks really favor us because of the difficulty getting down them. Jim (team owner/crew chief Dunn) seems to have a pretty good handle on that and seems to be able to go A to B, so I think we have as good a shot as anybody. One of our sponsors, WileyX, its headquarters are in Livermore which is fairly close to the track, so we'll have some of them out during the weekend, and the CANIDAE folks are coming up, too, so hopefully we can put on a good show for them."

Toliver lost a close first-round match-up with Bob Tasca last week at Seattle and is anxious to get back on the quarter-mile at Infineon Raceway. Both drivers saw the performance of their cars fall off, but Tasca had an elapsed time of 4.498 seconds at 246.80 mph to edge Toliver's 4.535 e.t. at 205.85 mph.

"I didn't see Tasca and I saw the finish line coming up and I thought, 'Okay, here we go, we got the win,' but then it let go," Toliver said. "I coasted and didn't see him and then right at the end he went by me. Oh well. I think it's good we're getting right back on the track without a layoff. I'm still wound up and want to get back out there and win some rounds. We were close last week, let's get back out there and let's do it again."

A two-hour telecast of qualifying coverage for the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Northwest Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD on Saturday, July 25, beginning at 6:00 p.m. (ET). Coverage on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD continues on Sunday, July 26, when NHRA Race Day kicks off eliminator coverage starting at 11:00 am (ET), and concludes with three hours of final-eliminations coverage beginning at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Toliver Loses Rematch with Tasca at Seattle

Final eliminations for the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways were completed today and Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver lost in a first-round rematch with Ford driver Bob Tasca. He lost a first-round match-up with Tasca earlier this season at Phoenix.

Toliver qualified the CANIDAE/Lucas Oil Chevy 13th for the second consecutive race with an elapsed time of 4.309 seconds at 276.80 mph. In the first round Toliver lost a tight race as both drivers saw the performance of their cars fall off. Tasca had an elapsed time of 4.498 seconds at 246.80 mph to edge Toliver's 4.535 e.t. at 205.85 mph.

"Man, I thought we might have stole one," Toliver said. "Neither one of us made a real good run and we had holes going out. We just couldn't hang on. I thought we might have something for them after our strong run on Saturday in qualifying, but it just wasn't meant to be. Now it's pack it up and finish off the Western Swing on a strong note at Sonoma."

Next stop on the 24-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Series is the third and final leg of the three-race Western Swing, the 22nd annual FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., from July 24-26.

Kirk Weeks