For Jim Murphy
and the OSH-WW2 Racing team the 2004 season has been frustrating
at best. The 2003 World Championship magic just isn't there.
At a race Murphy usually shines at, the 13th CHRR showed promise
early but went up in smoke - literally - Sunday afternoon. After
qualifying # 2 with a very stout 5.860 at 257.21, and winning
the first two rounds of eliminations with impressive five second
times, the car misbehaved badly in the semis - smoking the tires
early on. Murphy could only watch eventual event winner, Rick
McGee motor on for the victory. With one event left in the 2004
season, WW2 Racing can only regroup and shoot for the championship
again in 2005. Nobody would bet against that goal.
On the first
of three days featuring chamber of commerce weather and huge
crowds, the 13th annual California Hot Rod Reunion held its first
Top Fuel qualifying session Friday afternoon.
Since most of
the teams showed up Thursday, there wasn't much to do before
it came, the first session paired up Jim Murphy with Denver Schutz.
Murphy left good but down track
he was on and off the throttle trying to control the wheel spin.
In spite of the pedaling, Jim ran a 6.064 at 211.76 which would
put him # 6 after the first session.
3:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon
brought the second and last qualifying session. Friday was basically
a tune-up run and now it was time to take a shot at the track
at the # 1 spot.
Tim Beebe makes his final adjustments
before Murphy stages. Bill Dunlap was in the other lane.
After going to school on Friday's
run, the WW2 fueler spit out some clutch dust at the hit and
started hauling. Murphy unloaded Top Speed of the meet (to that
point) on the class with a really nice blast taking over the
second spot with a superb 5.819 at 248.34.
The crew reacts to the clapping
fans as they go to the top end to pick up Murphy (and the car
10-03-04 - BAKERSFIELD, CA
- Final order of qualifying in Nostalgia Top Fuel at the 2004
California Hot Rod Reunion.
Dunlap - 5.819 @ 248.34
2. Jim Murphy - 5.860 @ 257.21
3. Jack Harris - 5.864 @ 257.87
4. Denver Schutz - 5.866 @ 240.19
5. Mendy Fry - 5.874 @ 251.32
6. Rick McGee - 5.899 @ 232.31
7. Scott Mason - 5.989 @ 244.49
8. L Jennings Sr. - 6.046 @ 247.38
9. Jeff Diehl - 6.054 @ 210.62
10. John Shoemaker - 6.064 @ 213.92
11. Brendan Murray - 6.081 @ 230.88
12. Howard Haight - 6.090 @ 246.03
13. Sean Bellemeur - 6.109 @ 231.60
14. Rick White - 6.182 @ 186.21
15. Terry Cox - 6.360 @ 220.15
16. Pete "Fritz" Kaiser - 6.468 @ 184.69
17. Rick Rogers - 6.777 @ 205.01
18. Dan Rusk - 6.946 @ 207.13
19. Chuck Tanko - 7.861 @ 117.38
20. Ron Maroney - 7.913 @ 121.52
21. Mark Hyla - 13.358 @ 57.51
22. Adam Sorokin - 14.040 @ 68.48
Here are a few candid pit shots
as the crew gets the car ready for the first round of eliminations
- Round One
The new (and
popular) format for the CHRR is to run the first round of the
16 car Top Fuel show on Saturday under the lights. The winners
from this round would be in competition for the final three rounds
on Sunday. In his first match up Murphy met # 15 qualifier, Terry
Cox. We apologize for a lack of photos of this session as most
of the photographers where on the other side of the track preparing
to shoot the "Cacklefest".
Murphy left first
and his 5.953 at 234.68 was too much for Cox's game but trailing
6.068 at 227.84. Murphy would come back on Sunday - Cox would
- Round Two
11:00 a.m. Sunday
morning and the sun drenched skies of Bakersfield fill with the
sound of Top Fuel dragsters. In the second stanza Murphy faced
the five second Chevy fueler of Scott Mason.
Even start and
another five for Mason (5.990 at 240.70, but it goes for naught
as Murphy was even quicker with a 5.867 at a very fast 255.31.
Murphy had lane choice over Rick McGee in the semi finals.
Right at the
ET light the WW2 Racing entry nipped a piston (see flame on right
bank) which resulted in a lot of smoke from the engine (below).
As usual, the
team got back to their pit in a hurry and started getting the
car repaired and ready for the semi finals.
In round two
of Top Fuel Murphy was paired with the always tough Rick McGee.
The Tedford & McGee entry qualified who had already carded
two 5.8 runs over the weekend ... and Rick is a consistently
good leaver. This meant that Murphy had to be on his game and
at least repeat his previous run.
is worth a thousand words! Weekend over.
to Photo Archive
Both cars left
together but as noted on the header of this page, Murphy's weekend
soon went up in smoke when the clutch locked up at the 300 foot
mark and as the tires blazed Jim could only watch McGee motor
on to a 6.001 at 228.19 win.