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Murphy Qualified #2, Hard Luck Loss First Round

 

 

Bakersfield, CA - March 11, 2020:

Coming into the 62nd annual Good Vibrations March Meet, Jim Murphy was not only chasing his elusive and record breaking 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 5 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 and getting close to their 5.5 goal.

After qualifying #2 with a stout 5.636 at 252,24, Jim had lane choice in the first round of eliminations against Tyler Hilton. At the stripe it was Hilton with a sub-par 6.084 at 227.04 hole-shot win. Murphy slowed to a 6.027 at 180.77.

It was a holeshot loss due to a throttle linkage malfunction. Once again Murphy's Law prevailed. "It seems that if we didn't have bad luck we would have no luck at all. We had a problem with the throttle linkage, it got a bit out of time and leaned out the engine on the burnout and pinched a couple rings. This made some pan pressure and our Dave Leahy device (set at 7 lbs.) shut the engine off at seven hundred feet and we lost by one, one hundred of a second. That’s the bad part; the good part is it is looking like it's ready to start running".

The season is scrambled due to CH-19 so hopefully they can head to the Nightfire Nationals at Firebird Raceway in Boise, ID in August which is the next scheduled event.

We now present WW2 Racing's 2020 March Meet in photos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Qualifying Session - Friday

 

As the second pair in the session Jim Murphy was paired with rookie Tyler Hester in the Tedford & McGee "Overtime Special". Murphy was in his WW2 Racing entry. Murphy was back seeking his elusive March Meet win #5 which would break his tie with Garlits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the tree Murphy went into tire smoke. Back to the drawing board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Qualifying Session - Saturday

 

Pair two of session two featured a rematch of Jim Murphy and Tyler Hester.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Murphy jumped up to the #4 hole with a 5.790 at 235.15 while Hester slowed to a 6.510 at 152.35.

 

 

 

Some candid shots of the crew doing routine maintenance before the final qualifying session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3rd Qualifying Session - Saturday Afternoon

 

Prior to the first round of funny car it was the last chance for the top fuel cars to get into the show or improve their position.

 

The first of 3 pairs out was Jim Murphy and Tyler Hester ironically matched for the third time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Murphy stepped up big time with a 5.636 at 252,24 which landed him #2 just .003 behind the leader. Hester coasted through remaining #6 with his Q1 5.841.

 

 

 FINAL FIELD

1. 706 Pete Wittenberg, Anaheim, CA. 5.607. 254.81
2. 774 Jim Murphy, Santa Rosa, CA. 5.636, 252,24
3. 710H Bryan Hall, Rio Oso, CA. 5.762, 239.23
4. 7238 Bret Williamson, Gilroy, CA. 5.761, 253.14
5 7736 Dan Horan Jr., Sylmar, CA. 5.796, 248.20
6. 761 Tyler Hester, Visalia, CA. 5.841, 221.67
7. 379 Tyler Hilton, Cincinnati, OH. 5.851, 233.24
8. 752 Dusty Green, Pleasant Hill, CA. 5.903, 211.73

 

 

Round One of Eliminations - Sunday 11am

 

With a chilly Saturday behind them, Sunday offered kinder weather and great race conditions. Murphy was paired with Justin Hilton in the opening stanza.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hilton got a full tenth jump and Murphy gave chase.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the stripe it was Hilton with a sub-par 6.084 at 227.04 hole-shot win. Murphy had a throttle linkage issue and slowed to a 6.027 at 180.77.

Murphy after the pass was disappointed again. "It seems that lately if we didn't have bad luck we would have no luck at all. We had a problem with the throttle linkage, it got a bit out of time and leaned out the engine on the burnout and pinched a couple rings. This made some pan pressure and our Dave Leahy device (set at 7 lbs.) shut the engine off at seven hundred feet and we lost by one, one hundred of a second. That’s the bad part; the good part is it is looking like it's ready to start running".

 

 

 

Despite going home earlier than they wanted to, Murphy was pleased with the progress they made and more importantly, they did not hurt parts. Next stop was supposed to be Bowling Green, KY for the NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion. But due to the Chinavirus that was moved out to the tentative dates of August 20-22 at Beech Bend Raceway. The remainder of the 2020 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series schedule have not announced date changes.

2020 Race Schedule

 

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