DRO: And then you didn't have time to find another sponsor?

TOLIVER: They excused us in October 2001. We just went through 9/11, and it was at the end of 2001, not enough time to put a program together. When you start these programs with these corporations, usually it's a 5-6-month negotiating process. By October, there was nobody -- we really had nowhere to go. Then 2002 was really kind of a tough year. XFL took a lot of money from them.

DRO: NBC/G.E. was half-owner of that enterprise, and published reports said they took a $70 million bath on that.

TOLIVER: It was a lot of money -- could've run my program for a long time.

DRO: You had to hate sitting out.

TOLIVER: Don Prudhomme sat out a year or two.

DRO: So that goes to show that sitting out is not necessarily a reflection of the quality of the driver.

TOLIVER: It's unfortunate that those things happen. We had a quality program, but your program is only as good as your sponsors and as good as the support you get from your sponsors. We had a great season in 2000, and we're hoping to get back to that.

DRO: Now don't tell me, "We need to go rounds," but . . . How are you going to do that?

TOLIVER: We've already done it.

DRO: How's that?

TOLIVER: It's like a cake I've got right now in the oven baking. OK? I've assembled a great team. I've assembled some great minds. That's where it's at. Everybody here has the same parts. Everybody can go buy Alan Johnson's cylinder heads. Everybody can go buy somebody's blower or somebody's chassis. Those are all available. But utilizing those parts and knowing how to work them is obviously the key. So it's personnel -- it's all about people. Keith Adams is our crew chief. Keith was Alan's right-hand guy since '95, very instrumental in all the development of his parts. And he was right there with the Toyotas, as well. So it was a natural transition for Keith to step into the crew chief position. He was with Dale Armstrong
for a long time, so he has been with the best in the business. I think you're going to see Keith shine. We've got a good program, just good people. With that and a little luck, we might get there.

DRO: It does take some luck.

TOLIVER: Oh, it takes luck.

DRO: What's the deal with Jim Head?

TOLIVER: I'm excited for Jim. Jim is a gritty veteran. He has been around here since 1980. He was in Funny Car [until 1989]. I think there were some safety issues with the dragsters that he wasn't real comfortable with. I think that was part of his decision-making process. I wouldn't drive a dragster. No desire whatsoever. They scare me. I don't like the way those arch up and break in half. That's a ride I don't want to be on. Funny Cars have those big shock absorbers on both sides -- tires.

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