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October 03-05, 2003

Murphy Go To Semis




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.


Final Top Fuel Qualifying
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.


Q1 BO 2


Q1 BO 3


pre stage

After the burnout the car gets a final check and sent into the staging lights.


Q1 leave

The launch was hard and the car made a nice straight run to an easy 6.006 at 229.94.


Q1 leave 2


Q1 leave 3


Q1 leave 4


Q1 leave



pits 1

Between qualifying sessions the crew just did some basic maintenance. This is a good thing as opposed to major maintenance.


pits 2


pits 3




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.


Q2 BO 2


Q2 pass



R1 pre

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.



# 5 qualifier Murphy has lane choice over the # 13 car of Richey.


R1 BO 2


R1 BO 3


R1 leave

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.


topend 1


topend 2






Second round - 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.


R2 BO 2


R2 pair

Jennings takes 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.


R2 leave



R3 shade

Trying to keep cool before the semi finals.


R3 in wait

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 round.


R3 BO 2

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.


R3 pair

Murphy's round two 5.89 gave him lane choice over Muravez's 5.95 and he took his favorite left lane.


R3 close up

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.


R3 leave


R3 leave


R3 lights 1

Muravez needed 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.


R3 lights 2



Related Link

AA/FD Inc. - Nostalgia Top Fuel Teams


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