October 03-05, 2003
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Final Top Fuel Qualifying
Jim Murphy and
the OSH-WW2 Racing team came to the 12th California Hot Rod Reunion,
a race they had won on two previous occasion, primed and ready
to win it again. That was not to be but the team put on a great
show and were happy at the end of the day. Enjoy this photo recap
of the event.
1. Denver Schutz 5.858 @ 236.34
2. Bill Dunlap 5.895 @ 238.41
3. Bob Muravez 5.926 @ 249.51
4. Jack Harris 5.960 @ 244.89
5. Jim Murphy 6.006 @ 229.94
6. Glenn Hutchinson 6.031 @ 246.10
7. Howard Haight 6.064 @ 227.56
8. Rick McGee 6.080 @ 209.20
9. Lee Jennings 6.141 @ 234.19
10. Rich Howell 6.142 @ 217.67
11. Pete Kaiser 6.148 @ 219.94
12. Sean Bellemeur 6.178 @ 203.94
13. Jason Richey 6.282 @ 234.19
14. Scott Mason 6.321 @ 225.50
15. Chuck Tanko 6.384 @ 203.94
16. Jeff Diehl 6.416 @ 179.35
This year the
CHRR hosted a 16 car field so the OSH-WW2 Racing crew wasn't
worried about making the field, but they did want to qualify
at or near the top. With only two qualifying sessions offered
(both on Saturday) crew chief Tim Beebe approached the first
session with conservative but proven tune-up.
With the temperatures
in the mid 80s and the track in perfect condition, Murphy was
in the first pair of cars to "test" the racing surface.
After the burnout
the car gets a final check and sent into the staging lights.
The launch was
hard and the car made a nice straight run to an easy 6.006 at
sessions the crew just did some basic maintenance. This is a
good thing as opposed to major maintenance.
The second session
was "under the lights" (a fan favorite) and everybody,
including the OSH-WW2 team were going for a "big number".
Murphy sounded great on the burnout and when the light went green
was on a solid five second run until a faulty piston pumped some
oil and forced him to shut off with a 6.320 @ 174.58. This did
not improve their qualifying position but # 5 was still a very
good spot to be in.
# 5 qualifier
Murphy has lane choice over the # 13 car of Richey.
Sunday 11AM -
The last strains of the National Anthem die away - the airplanes
fly low over the track - and the first pair of Top Fuel dragsters
fire-up. Jim Murphy would face Jason Richey in the opening stanza
of round one.
Both cars leave together but
Murphy is in the lead by the sixty feet mark and pulls away for
the win over Richey with a stout 5.914 @ 243.30. It would be
the first of many fives in eliminations... 19, the most in history.
- eight cars left - all of them tough. Murphy would face Lee
Jennings Sr. in the lone Chevy powered car. Jennings had carded
a 5.97 @ 236 in round one so he was not to be taken lightly.
a slight lead off the line but by half track Murphy was in the
lead on on his way to another win at 5.897 @ 228.89 to Jennings
game 6.005 @ 231.95. The OSH-WW2 car was going to the semis.
Trying to keep cool before
the semi finals.
Ready to rumble....
The semi finals by itself was
worth the price of admission featuring the four quickest cars
during eliminations and four drivers were seasoned vets 60 or
older - the kids were long gone. And there was no question that
it would take a solid five second run to win in a race in this
In round three
Murphy would face Bob Muravez who had also been running 5.90s
all day. Two vets with a combined racing career of 70+ years
- the race was a coin toss.
two 5.89 gave him lane choice over Muravez's 5.95 and he took
his favorite left lane.
Had all things
been equal, the end result here would have been the OSH-WW2 going
to the finals instead of the Western Hoist Special. But things
weren't equal and that happened at the starting line. Muravez
cut his best light of the day (0.497) getting a 3 hundredth of
a second lead on Murphy who had a very respectable 0.528 light.
AA/FD Inc. - Nostalgia Top Fuel Teams
that slight advantage for the win as his 5.902 @ 233.88 just
barely held off Murphy's hard charging 5.892 at a huge 252.10.
Drag racing is said to be a sport of inches and this was definitely
the case here. And that's drag racing.