- Boise, ID - The
38th edition of Firebird Raceway's signature event was a weekend
of way below normal temperatures, huge crowds, record runs, major
upsets, lots of drama and a very bizarre Top Fuel semi final.
The Nightfire Nationals are Idaho's premiere motorsport's national
championship, and the 2009 edition was even bigger and better
than any year previous. Headlining the 4 day show was Top Fuel
Dragsters and Nostalgia Nitro Funny Cars. In spite of a grim
economy, there were 32 nitro cars on the grounds and both the
Friday and Sunday crowds were bigger than years past. Most credit
the absence of the normally hot weather for much of the increase.
For Jim Murphy
and the WW2 Racing team it was in all a good weekend. After qualifying
forth with a 5.99, Jim went on to beat James Day and Rick Williamson
running 5:80s and then faced off with Rick White in the final.
Murphy, the defending Nightfire Nationals champion, had lane
choice and chose the tower side. White, who had a very lucky
break in the semi-finals, had only run a 6.66 opposed to Murphy's
solo 5.98. However, White had run low ET of the first two rounds
so the final was a coin toss. As it turned out, after a great
leave, the WW2 car didn't much care for the cool track surface
and got out of the groove sending Murphy over the center line.
White had no problems saving his best for last, ripping off a
5.70 at 254.45 for low e.t. and top speed of the meet.
"We aren't too disappointed. The car ran good, we learned
some things and there was no major parts damage. White's car
was a monster this weekend and they deserved the win. We'll take
another shot at them in Sacramento next month where we still
can get enough Hot Rod Heritage Series points to move to the
CHRR with a chance of winning another championship."
Now enjoy some
great photos (and the whole story) below.
Photos by: Arlene
Eliason, Dan Kaplan, Don Ewald, Darrell Conrad, Pam Schavrien
and Don Atkinson.