TEST N' TUNE
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....
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