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Murphy Goes to Semi-finals




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 session one.




When 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 of course).



10-03-04 - BAKERSFIELD, CA - Final order of qualifying in Nostalgia Top Fuel at the 2004 California Hot Rod Reunion.


1.   Bill 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 that night.








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 go home.




Eliminations - 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.





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.




A picture is worth a thousand words! Weekend over.


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