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Bakersfield, CA - 10/24/11: The 20th edition of the California Hot Rod Reunion disappointed no one. It lived up to its rock star billing and then some. The weekend featured Chamber of Commerce weather and a race track second to none. There was no doubt that Auto Club Famoso Raceway operators Blake and John Bowser had their facility ready for what was the largest CHRR ever. The smooth as glass concrete quarter mile yielded record runs in both Top Fuel and Funny Car.

Coming into this final race of the season Brett Harris was leading the 2011 Top Fuel points, but it was mathamatically possible for Jim Murphy to over taken him.... a long shot, but possible. After qualifying Murphy was #4 and Harris #5. Both cars were equal.

After qualifying fifth with a 5.827 at 255.15, Harris went on to beat Brendan Murry, arch-rival Jim Murphy and the #1 qualifier, Jimi Young to earn a spot in the final where he met the low ET car of Tony Bartone. It was there that Harris' star shined brightest. Knowing the difference in the race could well be decided at the starting line, Brett definitely did his job winning all the gold on a holeshot.




We'll pick up the weekend with the team getting ready for the first qualifying session on Friday.






1st Qualifying Session

Friday: 2:44 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 83 degrees, relative humidity 40 percent, barometer 28.97 inches, adjusted altitude 2,943 feet, track temperature 111 degrees.


In the first of two sessions Murphy was paired with the the only other car even remotely in the points hunt, Rick White.


Both cars had good early numbers and stayed pretty much side by side the entire quarter mile.





Both cars used their fair share of clutch discs.



On the other end Murphy carded a nice out-of-the-box 5.786 at 246.12. White was right behind him with a 5.860 at 245.72. The bar was set.





While the car was being prepped for the Saturday session Muphy attached a compact HD video camera to his roll bar. The results was some stunning footage of the entire run.








2nd Qualifying Session

Saturday: 12:06 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 82 degrees, relative humidity 41 percent, barometer 28.97 inches, adjusted altitude 2,853 feet, track temperature 108 degrees.


The final pair for the second and final session was Jimi Young and Jim Murphy.









From the hit this run looked special. Both cars were very aggressive but it was Young who carded a 1.003 sixty foot time and was running over 212.70 at half track.





Young's car kept the candle lit to near the lights, where there is a bunch of piston smoke. But who cared? He not only got the pole back but his 5.593 at 255.92 made him only the third NTF car to run in the five fifties. Murphy's 5.813 at 237.71 was no slouch but still over 2 tenths off of Young.




 Top Fuel Qualifying Final Order

1 - Jimi Young 5.593 @ 255.92
2 - Rick White 5.698 @ 231.20
3 - Denver Schutz 5.785 @ 234.70
4 - Jim Murphy 5.786 @ 246.12
5 - Brett Harris 5.827 @ 255.15
6 - Rick McGee 5.861 @ 214.83
7 - Bill Dunlap 5.868 @ 237.38
8 - Howard Haight 5.913 @ 249.21
9 - Terry Cox 5.990 @ 253.47
10 - Tony Bartone 6.064 @ 250.64
11 - Brad Thompson 6.100 @ 208.68
12 - Brendan Murry 6.250 @ 200.83
13 - Mendy Fry 6.261 @ 181.32
14 - John Everette 6.281 @ 214.31
15 - Michael Irwin 6.887 @ 177.16
16 - Jim Boyd 7.588 @ 133.33




Top Fuel - Round One

Saturday: 4:22 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 88 degrees, relative humidity 45 percent, barometer 28.90 inches, adjusted altitude 3,307 feet, track temperature 110 degrees.


Next to last first round match up was Jim Murphy and Mendy Fry.




Murphy picked up the pace and marched ahead of Fry and on down the track. It was expensive though, as there is a major cloud of smoke from the engine in the lights.


Murphy's 5.747 at 239.95 was more than enough to cover Fry's shut of early 6.368 at 181.67.



Murphy's incremental times: 60ft-1.002 sec., 330ft-2.581, 660ft-3.802/204.76 mph, 1,000ft-4.839.






Top Fuel - Round Two

Sunday: 11:52 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 82 degrees, relative humidity 38 percent, barometer 28.88 inches, adjusted altitude 2,996 feet, track temperature 102 degrees.


Pair three of round two featured two old rivals - Jim Murphy and Brett Harris.








Harris got a slight jump leaving Murphy to play catch-up.







After the 60' clocks it was a deat heat.


But on the other end it was Harris who continued to improve running a 5.757 at 259.66. Murphy starting hurting parts on the top end and shut off to a 5.859 at 224.58. His 2011 season was over.





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