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5th March Meet Win Remains Illusive

 

 

Bakersfield, CA - March 07, 2016:

The 58th edition of the fabled March Meet offered five days of racing amid a mixed bag of weather. For an event that was predicted by all to be rained out, it survived one last shower on Sunday morning and went on to crown all class champions by days end. The entire track crew did an amazing job of getting the track race ready after each rain storm and each oil down and crashes.

Unlike the California Hot Rod Reunion in October which is a gathering that includes a race, the March Meet is a hard core drag race. That is not to say that the grounds aren't littered with geezers, its just that the focus is on the race track and everyone wants to win the most prestigious race of the year.

For Jim Murphy and crew it was one bizarre happening after another. mixed with a personal distraction for Jim.

 

 

1st Qualifying Session

 

In the first session on Friday Jim Murphy was paired with Bill Dunlap in the High Speed Motorsports "Great White".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Murphy was on a good pass until he got out of the groove and was forced to lift.

 

 

 

 

2nd Qualifying Session

 

Due to the lack of light and photographers, there are not a lot of shots from this session. Murphy was paired with Rick Williamson.

 

 

 

 

Murphy carded a 5.950 at 252.80.

 

 

 

3rd Qualifying Session

 

For the third and final session Murphy was paired with Rick McGee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Murphy stepped up with a 5.764 at 254.33 while McGee's 5.890 at 233.48 did not make the show.

 

 

 

 

Round One of Eliminations

 

Following a brief shower Sunday morning, the call for Top Fuel brought the SRO crowd to the seats. Jim Murphy drew Bill Dunlap in what would turn out to be most eventful, and scary.

 

 

 

Both cars left together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dunlap a slight lead at the 1000' mark but that's where his problems began.

 

 

It seems that the tri-drive belt that drives both the fuel and oil pumps started shredding earlier in the run. With the fuel pump not putting enough fuel in the engine it leaned out burnt all the pistons and that pumped the pan pressure until it blew the front of the left rocker cover gasket out oiling Dunlap to the the point he was flying blind.

 

 

 

Murphy took the win with a 5.778 at 238.76 to Dunlap's 5.789 at 225.37. Murphy with the starting line advantage and the win. Murphy's MOV: 0.0380 seconds (approximately 13 feet).

 

 

In spite of doing the best he could to keep the car in his lane he was drifting to the right while Murphy was drifting to the left.

 

 

Dunlap's right front tire rode up the back of Murphy's left rear tire. At that point it was just hang on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bottom line was nobody was hurt, Dunlap was really mad at himself (that's what drivers do) and with virtually no damage to this car, Murphy was able to make the call for round two.

 

 

 

Eliminations - Round Two

 

First pair out for round two was Jim Murphy and Adam Sorokin.

 

 

 

The look on Roland Leong's face says it all. Murphy went red and Sorokin got the win.

 

 

Murphy's miscue came at a great time for Sorokin who once again went into a power wheelstand and had to pedal big time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorokin's 6.824 at 218.51 was not impressive but good enough to get to the final.

 

A dejected Murphy thinking he just found another way to let his elusive 5th March Meet win get away.

 

 

Check out where Murphy and the Team are racing next....
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