Help! problem passing..VVT or throttle control sensor maybe? Ideas?

I have a wonderful 2001 Toyota Corolla. Boy is it fast and runs smooth. However when you put your foot into it, it shifts into passing gear and doesn't accelerate... We are to the point where we think it might be the VVT solenoid or the throttle control sensor. Just replaced all of the injectors and fuel pump in case pressure drop during pedal to the metal.
Wife refuses to drive...I want to repaint her newer model Corolla with a two-tone, but she needs to drive this one to work, and she drives ...well, ...pretty quickly.
Can't really tell if it's timing advance or lack of fuel. What is your experience? Any suggestions? Mahalo and aloha from the Big Island.