June 12-14 2014
Loses in Semi Final
Ky. (June 15) The NHRA Motorsports Museum Holley National
Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA came to a thrilling close on
Saturday after three action packed days of racing and honoring
NHRA drag racing and cacklecar legends. Grandstands filled to
capacity on Saturday with fans three deep standing by the fences
down the quarter mile.
Jim Murphy returned
to Kentucky to defend his Top Fuel title and Tony Bartone came
to attempt to further his 2014 points lead. Both had high hopes
of leaving with the Wally but only one survived. In spite of
losing to Bartone in the semis, Murphy moved from 9th to 3rd
in the points race, just one point out of second.
This year saw
Top Fuel return in strength with 10 cars vying for a spot in
the eight car show.
Dave Hirata was
back in Dale Suhr's Orange Crate and he led the field
following Thursday's initial qualifying session with a 5.843
at a stout 254.71 mph followed by Tony Bartone with an early
shut off 5.95. After two sessions on Friday, June 13, Bartone
was on top of the list with a 5.830, again slowing on the top
end. Hirata's earlier run held up for second and Jimmy Young
was third with a 6.013 in Steve and Ernie McClain's car, just
ahead of Jim Murphy's 6.057 and Randy Bridges' 6.084. Dave Miller,
Lincoln Hassell and Roger Letchenberg filled out the field with
Jerry Kumre and Jason Greenwood missing the cut.
As is done for every trip down
the quarter mile, the car was warmed up (timing, check for leaks
etc.) before the first qualifying session.
The cars hit the staging lanes
on Thursday afternoon for the first of two qualifying sessions.
Murphy was paired with
Dave Hirata in Dale Suhrs Orange Crate out
Both cars left hard but...
Just past the tree Murphy
started smoking the tires and soon after called it quits.
Hirata went low to that
point while sacrificing some pistons to the aluminum gods.
Murphy went back to check
the data in preparation for the Friday session.
In the second session Murphy
had Jerry Kumre Jr. in the other lane. Krume was making his first
and only attempt.
Murphy left hard and
appeared to be on a good run..
But at half track Murphy's
car started getting out of the groove.
He couldn't reel it back
in and had to lift. This killed his chance.
Fuel Round One
1. Tony Bartone
- 5.830 @ 228.31
2. Dave Hirata - 5.843 @ 254.71
3. Jim Young - 6.013 @ 232.43
4. Jim Murphy - 6.057 @ 202.48.
5. Randy Bridges - 6.084 @ 205.76.
6. Dave Miller - 6.721 @ 181.72.
7. Lincoln Hassell - 6.776 @ 186.67
8. Roger Lechtenberg - 6.849 @ 159.21
Not Qualified ------------
9. Jerry Kumre
Jr - 7.354 @ 161.29
10. Jason Greenwood
This was his
first pass in the car but between his years of experience and
faith in this battle proven piece, he legged it.
Murphy left first by
a tenth and never looked back.
Piston damage aside, Murphy picked
it up with a nice 5.823 at 248.43. This put him back in the game.
- Round Two
two it was Murphy vs the 2014 March Meet winner, Tony Bartone.
Both cars left together.
They were side by side until
Murphy's engine started burning the #4 piston (again) allowing
Bartone to power on for the win.
As stated earlier,
in spite of the loss Murphy moved from 9th to 3rd in the points
race, just one point out of second in
the 2014 points chase. This will make the final two races very
Check out where Murphy
and Team are racing next....
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