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2007 March Meet




Bakersfield, CA - March 09-11, 2007: The 49th edition of the March Meet was everything you could expect from the premier drag race of the nostalgia season. John and Blake Bowser - with a lot of help from the Famoso Raceway staff - put on a drag race for the ages. From the full pits on Thursday to the Winners Circle shots on Sunday this was an event blessed with Chamber of Commerce weather, an accommodating facility, incredible racing surface, friendly staff, full bore fans and upbeat attitudes throughout.

The 35,000+ fans that packed the facility over the three-day event were treated to over 500 race cars including 20 of the countries best Top Fuel dragsters including Jim Murphy and the WW2 Racing team. As he's done for several years, Murphy went into the event with his sights set on a stand-alone record. Not an ET or speed record but a record probably only he can break - a 5th March Meet Top Fuel win which he currently shares with Don Garlits.

Murphy's dream held fast into the final round of racing on Sunday when the record was dead in his sights. For reasons they have figured out, everything literally went up in smoke when the tires broke loose at the start and Jim had to watch Brett Harris streak to victory. His dragster that had served him so well throughout eliminations simply had too much power in the end.


Photos and full story below.



Friday - Qualifying Session One


Under sunny skies the first session got under way at 2:30 PM. Murphy found himself the last car to make a shot and it would be a single.



Crew Chief Tim Beebe awaits the signal to fire-up.


The green car sounded very good on the burnout - maybe too good.







Dave Thornhill backs Jim up from the burnout.





It's all good, Thornhill moves Murphy up to stage.


At the hit Murphy hiked the front wheels and was on a pass.









Before the first light Jim felt something amiss and shut it off and still ran a stellar 5.869 at just 229.70. In spite of the engine damage the time established a very encouraging baseline for a weekend tune-up.








After the run the crew repaired the engine and got the car ready for session two on Saturday.






Saturday - Qualifying Session Two

1:41 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 68 degrees, relative humidity 33 percent, barometer 30.14 inches, track temperature 84 degrees. Very nice racing conditions.


Once again Murphy was the last car to run in the session and had a single in the right lane.







Amid a cloud of clutch dust Murphy left hard and the trained eye knew it could be a good pass.






But once again Jim shut it off early to card a 5.920 at 241.09. This was slightly slower than session one but with a better speed.





The crew preps the car for the third and final qualifying session.






Saturday - Qualifying Session Three

Running 2 hours behind schedule, the final session got underway at 5:46 PM.


As the sun set in the West, Murphy was paired with Jack Harris for his third shot at the excellent Famoso track.





Murphy made a nice, clean 5.880 at 244.16 pass which landed him the # 5 spot in the 16 car field. The run was particularly satisfying as it told the crew they finally had a consistent race car again... three runs in the fives.


Page Two: Sunday Eliminations



Top Fuel Qualifying Final Order
1. Brad Thompson -  5.746 @ 247.11
2. Rick White  - 5.822 @ 250.69
3. Shannon Stuart  -  5.841 @ 225.22
4. Pete Kaiser  -  5.842 @ 257.51
5. Jim Murphy  -  5.869 @ 229.70
6. Denver Schutz  -  5.897 @ 249.16
7. Brett Harris -  5.911 @ 256.04
8. Troy Green  -  5.927 @ 244.10
9.   Jason Richey  -  5.964 @ 228.25
10. Jack Harris  -  5.986 @ 250.48
11. Rick McGee -  5.992 @ 250.00
12. Howard Haight  -  6.003 @ 230.71
13. Adam Sorokin -  6.013 @ 225.79
14. Bill Dunlap  -  6.029 @ 251.46
15. Rick Rogers  -  6.122 @ 211.46
16. Brendan Murry  -  6.136 @ 239.55

17. Mark Malde  -  6.136 @ 239.55
18. John Shoemaker  -  6.283 @ 207.80
19. Ron Maroney  -  8.367 @ 130.05


Page Two: Sunday Eliminations


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