Getting ready for battle.
Unlike the previous two
days, Sunday featured Chamber Of Commerce weather which meant
the air and track would be near perfect for killer times.
Sunday - Round
One of Eliminations
All weekend tires
were an issue with many of the teams. Even though the new M&H
tire, introduced this season, worked very well on most tracks,
the surface is so good at Bakersfield that the "chunking"
problem reared its ugly head again. By the end of the weekend
there were no new tires left.
First pair of Top Fuel
were fired at 11:05 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature
67 degrees, relative humidity 59 percent, barometer 29.95 inches.
Most every racers will tell you
that round one of any event is the toughest. You're in the show
and you've had all night to think about how you will handle your
first opponent. Chances are you are not going to see the same
conditions you qualified under so you have to weigh your tune-up.
For a fact, once you get by the opening stanza you have as good
a chance as anyone of winning the event.
of green as final adjustments are made before Murphy stages.
cars left together but Murphy pulled ahead at every marker.
Murphy heats the tires for his
first test of the day - Mike McClennan in Mike Fullers car that
qualified # 15 but capable of running in the 5.70's.
Sunday - Round
Two of Eliminations
to round two with a 5.878 at 240.06. By the 1200' mark McClennan
called it quits clicking it to a losing 6.163 at 212.56.
With the temperature
climbing the umbrellas came out to keep the cockpit cool.
pair fire at 2:06 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature, a
warmer 74 degrees, relative humidity 45 percent, barometer 29.89
done - time to race.
Paired with Denver
Schutz in the Cullen car, Murphy had lane choice and stayed in
his favored left side.
Murphy gave up
a little on the starting line and had to chase Schutz for most
of the race.
gets the car prepped for the semi-finals.
At the stripe
Murphy's 5.789 at 253.73 beat Schutz's 5.846 at 247.32 by about
Sunday - Round
Three of Eliminations
p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 70 degrees, relative
humidity 43 percent, barometer 28.89 inches.
Kaiser and Murphy back
The data computer is
activated as Murphy moves into the beams.
After just watching Brad Thompson
get a single (and run low ET of the meet) when his competition
couldn't make the call, Murphy knew he had a tall order to win
this round against a tough Pete Kaiser and set low ET to keep
Kaiser did his job with an excellent
0.035 light but the advantage was short lived when the Ground
Zero car had multiple bottom end problems.
Murphy caught and passed the
red car before the 330' mark and never looked back.
Murphy stopped the clocks with
a nice 5.815 at 242.52 which was good enough for the win but
not lane choice against a red hot Thompson.
AA/FD Inc. - Nostalgia Top Fuel Teams
But that point was moot when
they found irreparable damage to the the car and needless to say, the
entire team was devastated that driveline, not engine damage
denied them another head-to-head with Thompson (who had qualified
#1). The two had paired up just three weeks earlier in Sacramento
where Thompson's 5.820 just nipped Murphy's 5.826. Although Thompson
had run slightly quicker than Murphy in his previous round, Beebe
had not been leaning on the engine all day and was prepared to
do so in the final and believed the old girl would have stepped
up and run a high 5.60.
On that note
its now time to look forward to the 2008 season when Murphy will
be in an all new car built by Dave Thornhill. It will be lighter,
safer and theoretically quicker and faster than the current car
that served well for four seasons. After a very successful 2007
campaign, the team is really looking forward to the 50th March
Meet and another shot at Thompson and another change to tie Don
Garlits record of five March Meet wins.