Jim Murphy and
the OSH-WW2 Racing team started the 2004 season with a convincing
win at the March Meet... then they hit a bump in the road in
Las Vegas. Racing is all about performance and constantly performing
better. In order to do this, the teams have to try new things
and sometimes they don't work out. This was the case at the Goodguys
16th Nitro Nationals. After struggling on their two qualifying
attempts on Friday, Murphy ripped off a nice 5.90 at 246 during
the last session on Saturday to qualify # 2. Unfortunately they
could not repeat that time in the first round of eliminations
and lost to Bill Dunlap. Needless to say, this isn't the results
the team was looking for and they plan to do some testing before
the next event. The season is still young and a rebound is inevitable.
Top Fuel Qualifying
1. Jack Harris 5.867 @
2. Jim Murphy 5.908 @ 246.89
3. Jeff Diehl 5.926 @ 248.34
4. Howard Haight 5.936 @ 250.23
5. Rick McGee 5.955 @ 239.53
6. Rick White 5.974 @ 245.94
7. Bill Dunlap 5.995 @ 249.03
8. Pete Kaiser 6.108 227.54
made his first burnout of the weekend at 4:55 Friday afternoon.
The track temperature
was over 110 degrees so the track would be tricky.
In this session
Murphy is paired with Rick White. Here both cars back up before
a scarce crowd. Being a work day (and a hot one at that) the
fans would be out later in the evening.
cars move into the staging beams.
Murphy left soft and never did
get it all together carding a sub-par 6.244 @ 229.70.
The next qualifying session didn't
go off until after 10 pm. Murphy sounded good, left good but
had problems at the 900 foot mark and had to shut off to a disappointing
6.398 at just 164.31.
For the third and last qualifying
session Murphy was paired with Lee Jennings. At this point Jim
was sitting in the # 9 spot - not even in the top eight ('A'
Field). He was the #1 qualifier in the 'B' field - a spot the
OSH-WW2 Racing team wasn't used to being in.
With their backs to the wall,
Tim Beebe and crew put it all together and jumped into the #
2 spot with a stellar 5.908 @ 246.89. It looked
like their problems were fixed.
The first round of eliminations
kicked off at 6 pm. Murphy would race the always tough Bill Dunlap
who qualified # 7 with a 5.99 @ 249.
After the burnouts were completed,
both drivers staged and waited until the green was good and safe
and from there the only place Dunlap was slower than Murphy was
at 330 foot mark. From that point Dunlap pulled away for a huge
win. Murphy had problems down track and shut off after a big
puff smoke came out of the headers. His 6.136 @ 211.53 was no
match for Dunlap's 6.033 @ 231.16.
This is the first race in memory
that the OSH-WW2 Racing team lost in the first round. It's a
safe bet that it won't be something that ever happens on a regular
basis. However, sometimes you just have to say, "That's
racing" and come back strong the next time out.