August 5-7, 2005:
The Goodguys 8th Nitro Nationals at Pomona was truly Murphy's
Law - "What can go wrong, will go wrong". Hopefully,
this is a law they won't break again in the near future!
Rosa, loaded for bear, Jim Murphy and crew had high hopes for
a successful weekend in sunny Pomona. However, the first omen
of trouble came early when they blew an inside rear tire on the
tow truck and tore up the rear fender. After putting the spare
on and fixing the truck the best they could it was off to the
Fairplex. Once in Pomona they put new tires on the truck.
The weather was
in a word - miserable, about 95 to 106 degrees and very high
humidity due to some close by tropical storms. The asphalt was
135-140 degrees, with no breeze. The spectator count was understandably
way down, the racers were suffering. Mother nature won the event
Our first qualifying
session was yet another precursor to "this weekend isn't
going to be ours". Paired with Rick White, who left the
staring line before the tree was even activated, Murphy took
his time lighting his second staging light, waited a bit and
then left without seeing a yellow (He assumed the guard beam
would automatically start the tree) wrong, no time. This negated
a good run that hurt a few pistons. They came back that night
with 7% less nitro in the tank and ran a decent 6.04 at 246.
Everything looked clean and they were felling that they were
on the back side of hurting the engine, wrong again - they hurt
pistons - again. That run would ultimately plant Murphy in the
# 5 qualifying position.
In round one
of elimination on Saturday night Murphy lost a very close race
to Jeff Diehl 6.15 at 238 to his 6.16 at 230. After the run they
found that the manual retard on the magneto had broken and instead
of Murphy retarding the timing 5 degrees, it retarded it 18 degrees.
Guess that explained why the car just blubbered down the track.
The crew spent
most of the day Sunday trying to figure out why they were hurting
pistons and had no horsepower. They narrowed it down to the magneto
or the fuel system. They put the car in the trailer and headed
north. On the backside of the Grapevine the front brake rotors
started grinding. A little further up the road the trailer fender
looked funny. Pulling over Murphy discovered that somewhere behind
them was the right front trailer wheel and tire - the studs had
sheered. Ah, what can go wrong will go wrong.
They limped into
Porterville and called it a day. Monday they fixed all the damage
at Tim Beebe's shop and headed north again to the shop of Blake
Robertson where Bob Wyman Jr. is putting his magic to work to
checking our magnetos . Long story short, this was the first
good news we had gotten all weekend. Bob found multiple (fatal)
problems with the mags and 5 very bad plug wires. Not to end
things to quickly we found out our fuel pump had also taken a
dump. The mags and fuel pump are now in the hospital and we expect
a full recovery in Seattle September 2nd thru the 4th.