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Round One of Eliminations
10:59 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 67 degrees, relative humidity 38 percent, barometer 30.18 inches, track temperature 78 degrees.


The last pair of the round, Murphy was up against Howard Haight.














This race was over before it started when Haight uncharacteristically left before the tree was even activated.  That may have been the only racing luck Murphy had all weekend. He was in fact staging the car with NO BREAKS. The break handle had literally broken from its mount on the chassis and Jim wanted this race so bad he staged with only the clutch - a masterful move in itself when its hanging on the back of a 3000 horsepower fuel hemi. When Haight had the brain fade Murphy, then staged, just hit the throttle leaving early as well but he still got the win under the first or worst rule and shut off early using only the chutes with a 5.960 at 227.90. Talk about dodging a bullet.







After full maintenance the car was warmed up prior to the second round.




Round Two of Eliminations


In round two Harris would meet up with Adam Sorokin in the potent RB Entertainment entry.











Both cars left together and it was obvious to all that Murphy was off on yet another good run.







At the strip Murphy carded a stout 5.807 at 250.20 to easily beet Sorokin and take another step toward an unprecedented 5th March Meet win.





Semi Finals
4:17 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 76 degrees, relative humidity 31 percent, barometer 30.14 inches, track temperature 91 degrees.


To move on to the final Murphy had to get by the quickest car on the grounds, Brad Thompson.










Murphy was on his game and strapped a huge holeshot on Thompson (0.062 to a 0.109) and would need every bit of it.










Thomson was slowly reeling Murphy in but ran out of real estate. Murphy got the win in the closest Top Fuel race of the weekend with a 5.869 at 253.95 to Brad's 5.828 at 258.54. Murphy's margin of victory was 0.0062 seconds (approximately 2 feet). This was a great drag race!




Prior to the final it was all business in the WW2 Racing pit.






In spite of the thrash Jim still had time to sign autographs.



Final Round of Top Fuel Eliminations


6:21 PM - Murphy would meet Brett Harris for all the marbles. By virtue of a quicker ET in the semis, Jim had lane choice.










Murphy moves into the staging beams.


This race was over in a heart beat when Murphy inexplicably blazed the tires at the hit.









Denied his fifth and record setting 5th March Meet win all Jim Murphy could do was sit and watch Harris clock a sterling 5.865 at 257.65 (bet run of the weekend) for his 1st March classic victory.


Coasting to the end Murphy was left to ponder what went wrong and lament a bitter loss when they were so close to the goal. Then it clicked, it was simple... what had been going on was they have had a fuel system problem for the past two seasons that was leaning the engine out. Over the winter, they had set the engine up to be much richer. After running well on Friday and Saturday but still hurting the motor, Jim and Tim finally realized what the problem was and fixed it Sunday morning.

They fixed the problem that had been doing the damage to the engine for the last two years but for the first three rounds on Sunday the engine was running on seven cylinders for the first four tenths of a seconds (terrible sixty foot times) and then it would pick up and run. They were able to correct that for the final but just had a bit to much clutch for eight cylinders. Despite the dropped cylinders they did run their third quickest time ever (5.80 flat in round two) and the two runs that were better were accomplished three years ago when they set the record that still stands today.

One more thing is after they discovered their problem they did not burn up anything on Sunday ( a new trend). A few pinched rings all day and they will get that taken care of with a few more runs. A silver cloud for sure.

You can bet they will be back here in March of 2008 to try again.



Page One:  Qualifying


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