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Murphy Qualifies #2 at 5.83 - Goes to Semi-Finals

 

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Boise, Idaho 08-10-14, 2007: 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’.

Eliminations 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.

 

Photos 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 Session One

 

After extensive 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.

 

 

 

 

Dave 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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Thornhill guides Murphy into the groove Tim Beebe wants the car to run in.

 

 

Final adjustments 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 Session Three

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 times.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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 Qualifying Order

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 Round One

 

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 paired up.

 

 

 

 

Murphy 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.

 

 

Murphy 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. Murphy dodged a bullet and moved on to round two.

 


 

Between rounds the crew did their normal servicing of the car.

 

 

 


 

Sunday - Eliminations Round Two

 

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 in.

 

 

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 data computer.

 


 

Sunday - Eliminations Semi-Finals

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.

 

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Related Link

AA/FD Inc. - Nostalgia Top Fuel Teams

 

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