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Page Two

 

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Sunday

Unlike the previous two days, Sunday featured Chamber Of Commerce weather which meant the air and track would be near perfect for killer times.

 

Getting ready for battle.

 

 

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.

 

 

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Sunday - Round One of Eliminations

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No shortage of green as final adjustments are made before Murphy stages.

 

 

 

Both cars left together but Murphy pulled ahead at every marker.

 

 

 

 

Murphy moves 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.

 

 

 

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Sunday - Round Two of Eliminations

First pair fire at 2:06 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature, a warmer 74 degrees, relative humidity 45 percent, barometer 29.89 inches.

 

With the temperature climbing the umbrellas came out to keep the cockpit cool.

 

 

Paired with Denver Schutz in the Cullen car, Murphy had lane choice and stayed in his favored left side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burnouts done - time to race.

 

Murphy gave up a little on the starting line and had to chase Schutz for most of the race.

 

 

 

 

 

At the stripe Murphy's 5.789 at 253.73 beat Schutz's 5.846 at 247.32 by about 10 feet.

 

 

 

 

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The crew gets the car prepped for the semi-finals.

 

 

 

 

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Sunday - Round Three of Eliminations

4:20 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 70 degrees, relative humidity 43 percent, barometer 28.89 inches.

 

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 lane choice.

 

 

 

 

Kaiser and Murphy back up.

 

 

 

The data computer is activated as Murphy moves into the beams.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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Related Link

AA/FD Inc. - Nostalgia Top Fuel Teams

 

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