Photos by Ron Lewis

e's back! He's not the wild WWF ruffian you last saw in the Pontiac Firebird, terrorizing John Force in 2000. But Jerry Toliver vows never to be a regimented soldier as he prepares for Funny Car war in his Toyota Celica. He's no corporate Jerry, but he's all business. And he talks with DRO about his association with the increasingly busy Alan Johnson, Toyota, teammate Jim Head, and the XFL's ultimate sacking. Find out why third place doesn't suck (or does it?), what kind of a cake he has in the oven, why he hates cookie-cutter interviews and how he gained a fresh appreciation for the sport.

DRO: How is this partnership with you and Alan Johnson going to work?

TOLIVER: Alan has the Toyota Celica deal. I went to him and proposed to him, told him that I'd like to run the Toyota Celicas and he liked the idea. Of course, Toyota likes the idea. The car's back out here on the track. I've leased that equipment from Alan. So there's no partnership, if you will. He's not a part of my team.

DRO: I think we all were assuming Alan was part owner of your team.

TOLIVER: No. I'm leasing the stuff from Alan, his truck and his trailer. My tractor. The race team and stuff is mine. But we're leasing the Toyota Celicas from Alan.

DRO: Those are the very same cars that Scelzi and Sarver ran, correct?

TOLIVER: Yeah. Alan has had years of development with TRD, so it's really his pet project and we're just lucky it was available. I'm really excited about driving them. I think they're going to be very competitive cars.

DRO: How long has this deal been in the works?

TOLIVER: We've been trying to put this deal together since early 2002. We finally got it done, and that's the exciting part. I've got a great deal. It's very exciting. We're bringing somebody new into the sport.

DRO: And who is that?

TOLIVER: I can't wait to announce it.

DRO: Be my guest.

TOLIVER: We're buttoning up the finishing touches on the deal right now, and we're going to have a press conference on Wednesday at Pomona.

DRO: Will you tell us if we guess correctly?

TOLIVER: No. I am sworn to secrecy.

Cover | Table of Contents | DROstore | Classifieds | Archive | Contact
Copyright 1999-2004, Drag Racing Online and Racing Net Source