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Murphy Loses to Record Run at Season Opener 



Bakersfield, CA - March 11, 2019:

Going into the 61st annual Good Vibrations March Meet, Jim Murphy was not only chasing his elusive 6th March Meet win, but was hoping to get a leg up on his quest for the Hot Rod Heritage National Championship.

Murphy, who committed early on to run all 6 points races this year, has been relentless in finding a competitive tune-up without hurting parts which has been his bane the last two seasons. All the testing he and right-hand man Daniel Wilkison have done has been heading in the right direction but far off their 5.50ish goal.

After qualifying #3 with a 5.846 at 230.92 he had lane choice in the first round of eliminations against the reigning champ, Mendy Fry who had nothing but problems in qualifying and ended up #6 with a 6.257 at 127.61.

No one would disagree that there is no shame in getting beat by the quickest run ever in a Nostalgia Top Fuel dragster. A car that had failed to make it to the finish line in qualifying stopped the clocks with a stunning 5.518 at 265.43. And to put icing on her cake, Fry ran even quicker in round two carding a 5.490 becoming the first car to break into the .40s.

Murphy carded a game 5.801 at 231.12 but was left feeling like he'd just run into a buzz-saw.

The season is young so there's nothing to do but head to the NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green, KY in June.

Now enjoy WW2 Racing's 2019 March Meet in photos.




Unlike the CHRR, the March Meet is 4 days of on track action. Thursday is an all day test session. Runs didn't count for qualifying but did knock the winter rust off the cars and drivers. It was also an opportunity to collect data for Friday when the times counted. We open up with the crew getting the car ready for a test run.


For his championship chase Murphy assembled the team of Keith Scallay, Right Head. Mike Irwin, Clutch Specialist. Cameron Salsedo, Bottom End & Piston Racks and Karl Scheele. Left Head. They work under the direction of Daniel Wilkison. An efficient five man crew is enough to campaign a NTF car.









Wilkison pays attention to details.


Scallay made sure both tires had the same rollout before installing them.




Ready to roll.


Don Ewald and Jim; one ready to record, one ready to race.



Muprhy was one of the nitro cars that took advantage of the bonus track time.







The first test yielded a strong leave that turned into tire smoke by the tree.







First Qualifying Session - Friday


The first Top Fuel session opened up with 2017 TF champ Jim Murphy driving his WW2 Racing Neil & Parks car. In the other lane was Bret Williamson in Mike Fuller's "Forever Young" fueler.















Williamson recorded a nice 5.736 at 250.7 to go low out of the gate. Murphy carded a shut off 6.214 at 182.90 to establish a solid base line.





To the casual fan these shots may not mean much, but to anyone who has ever dealt with the fuel system of a nitro engine these should be fascinating.







Second Qualifying Session - Saturday


For the second session Jim Murphy was paired with Rick White.



Mike Irwin guided Murphy back from his burnout.









Sneaking up on his tune-up Murphy shut off early to a 6.12 at 207 while White's 6.31 at 212.9 was also an abbreviated run.






3rd Qualifying Session - Saturday


Under dark skies and a setting sun, Murphy was paired with Adam Sorokin in the Champion Speed Shop entry for their last qualifying session.

















Murphy improved his position. A 5.846 at 230.92 moved him into the #3 spot. Sorokin didn't improve on his earlier 5.850 and ended up #4.




Round One of Eliminations - Sunday


The third pair of round one pitted the 2017 champion, Jim Murphy and the current champ, Mendy Fry. What had all eyes on this match up was the fact that Murphy was getting quicker on every run. Fry, on the other hand had been plagued with major problems all weekend. She never got to the finish line in qualifications and did not make a pass on Q3.









Both cars left together.








Fry had great early numbers and started to pull away before the 330' block.


1320 feet later Fry dropped jaws big time carding the quickest NTF run in history. Talk about pulling a rabbit from the hat. Despite a deep stage Fry stopped the clocks with a 5.518 at 265.43. Murphy carded a game 5.801 at 231.12, his quickest run of the weekend.




Despite going home earlier than they wanted to, Murphy was pleased with the progress they made and more importantly, they did not hurt parts. With five points races left the season is far from over and the chase for the championship has just begun. Next stop, Bowling Green, KY for the NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion.


Post March Meet Testing April 13-14



Check out where Murphy and the Team are racing next....
2019 Schedule

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