After a March Meet runner-up and semi final finish at the 2007
Boise Nightfire Nationals, Jim Murphy leads the AAFD 2007 Points
standings. With three points races to go Murphy is locked in
a race with Brett Harris, Adam Sorokin, Brad Thompson and Howard
Haight for the first ever AAFD Top Fuel Championship title. The
WW2 Racing Team decided to pass on the next points race at Mission,
Canada and focus on the Governors Cup at Sacramento in September
and the California Hot Rod Reunion in October. Says Murphy, "We
are disappointed not being able to attend the Mission race as
the times will be stout there but feel fortunate the point chase
consists of the best four out of five races".
Backing up to
the Nightfire Nationals, in the final session of qualifying on
Saturday Murphy set a new Firebird Raceway record with an outstanding
5.836 at 248 MPH. but one pair later Brad Thompson took it away
with a 5.832. These runs were particularly impressive as the
temperature at Boise was in the 90's and the track was a toasty
130+ degrees leaving them with a corrected altitude of 6500.
on Sunday started at 3:00 PM at it was hot! With track temps
at 140 degrees many of the 16 cars in contention had major problems
staying hooked up and in the groove. Murphy was paired with Shannon
Stewart for round one and it was an exciting match up to say
the least. For the first time all weekend Murphy smoked the tires
and drifted toward the centerline but managed to petal the car,
reel it in and still clock 6.368 at 236.84 for the win. As ugly
as Jim's run was Stewart's was way worse. At mid track he got
out of the groove and stayed in it a tad too long and smacked
the right guardwall hard enough to damage the car beyond repair.
Lucky he stayed on all fours and was unhurt.
On a cooler track
for round two Murphy clocked a 5.976 at 243.11 to beat Jason
Richey who had problems and shut off early. This left a semi-final
match up with young gun, Adam Sorokin who ran strong all weekend.
Both cars left hard and it was a close race until Murphy had
the front end start coming up at 400 feet, the car moved out
of the groove and got loose forcing him to pedal it. With Sorokin
clocking a stellar 5.858 at 253.95 there was no chance of Murphy
catching him so he shut off to a 6.389 at 170.74.
and full story below.
The first qualifying session
was not scheduled until Friday evening so after the pit was set
up most of the day was pretty laid back.
Friday - Qualifying
track clean up and prep the first session went off at 7:30 PM
Friday evening. Here Murphy heats the tires for his first shot
of the weekend at Boise's track.
Thornhill guides Murphy back from the burnout.
Paired with Mendy
Fry, Murphy left like a rocket and carded a very nice 5.99 at
233.46. It was the only five second run of the session.
Saturday - Qualifying
Session two went
off at 3:30 Saturday afternoon and it was HOT. 88 degrees with
at track temp of 130. Not ideal conditions but it would be the
closest to what race conditions would be on Sunday.
Murphy into the groove Tim Beebe wants the car to run in.
are made before Murphy move into the staging beams (below).
At the hit the
front wheels yanked up and the car left even harder than it did
is the first session.
Hooked up solid
to the 800' mark the car started spinning the tires but still
improved to a 5.97 at 234. This would leave Murphy in the # 3
spot after two sessions.
After the run
the crew serviced the engine and got the car ready for session
three on Saturday evening.
Saturday - Qualifying
With the sun starting
to set, the car is towed into the staging lanes.
In this final session
Murphy and Mike McClennan did side-by-side burnouts.
Session three on Saturday evening
found the air a bit cooler and track tighter. Everyone expected
some big numbers and that's what they got. The 5 yr old track
ET record was broken twice and 10 of the 16 got their best qualifying
Taking full advantage of the
cooler air Murphy ripped off a stunning 5.836 at 248.07. This
broke the five year old track ET record for Top Fuel and moved
Murphy to the top of the field.
*Amazingly in the next
pair Brad Thompson re-broke the record with a 5.832. He would
end up # 1 with Murphy # 2.
Final Top Fuel
1. Brad Thompson
- 5.832 @ 247.11
2. Jim Murphy - 5.836 @ 248.07
3. Troy Green - 5.914 @ 241.05
4. Jack Harris - 5.930 @ 251.04
5. Brett Harris - 5.947 @ 249.44
6. Adam Sorokin - 5.967 @ 220.10
7. Rick White - 6.011 @ 256.04
8. Scott Mason - 6.029 @ 234.80
9. Rick McGee
- 6.041 @ 239.29
10. Jason Richey - 6.043 @ 246.57
11. Mike McClennan - 6.086 @ 237.90
12. Howard Haight - 6.139 @ 227.90
13. Mark Malde - 6.242 @ 215.93
14. Mendy Fry - 6.243 @ 228.71
15. Shannon Stewart - 6.264 @ 213.21
16. Rick Rogers - 6.277 @ 233.10
Sunday - Eliminations
First round of eliminations went
off at 3:00 Sunday afternoon and the temperatures were in the
high 90's - 10 degrees hotter than the two previous day. The
track temp was 140+ degrees - not great for fuel dragsters. By
virtue of qualifying positions Jim Murphy and Shannon Stewart
moves into stage.
The car left good but within
30' the tires started to haze and were smoking big time by the
60' clock. This was the first hint of tire smoke Murphy had all
weekend and all agree it was the brutal track temperature that
didn't like the tune-up.
toward the centerline but managed to petal the car, reel it in
and still clock 6.368 at 236.84 for the win. As ugly as Jim's
run was Stewart's was way worse. At mid track he got out of the
groove and stayed in it a tad too long and smacked the right
guardwall hard enough to damage the car beyond repair. Lucky
he stayed on all fours and was unhurt. Murphy dodged a bullet
and moved on to round two.
Between rounds the crew
did their normal servicing of the car.
Sunday - Eliminations
The cars head down the staging
lanes to the starting line. The air had cooled a few degrees
but still very hot.
Gets suited up and climbs
Waiting to do battle
while the track is cleaned and prepped.
Paired with Jason Richey,
Murphy does his burnout.
Compensating for the
track temp, this time there wasn't a hint of tire smoke.
Murphy left first and never looked
back carding the 5.976 at 243.11 win. Richey shut off early to
a 7.286 at 133.37.
Less than 10 minutes after the
run the car is back to the pits and the crew jumps into action
to get it ready for round 3.
With the car in capable hands,
Tim (Beebe) and Jim (Murphy) go over the graphs from the onboard
Sunday - Eliminations
The semi-finals finally
went off around 9:00 PM and the track was much cooler but the
left lane was somewhat suspect.
Jim Murphy met
Adam Sorokin to see who would go to the final. Both cars left
hard and it was a close race until Murphy had the front end start
coming up at 400 feet. The car made a hard move out of the groove
and got loose forcing him to pedal it. With Sorokin clocking
a stellar 5.858 at 253.95 there was no chance of Murphy catching
him so he shut off to a 6.389 at 170.74.
All in all it
was a good weekend as they qualified well, went to the semis
and moved into first place in the points chase. Better yet, the
engine was happy and parts damage was minimal to say the least.
Murphy and crew are looking forward to their next outing, the
Governors Cup at Sacramento Raceway.
AA/FD Inc. - Nostalgia Top Fuel Teams