Jim Murphy and
the OSH-WW2 Racing team started the 2004 season the same note
they ended the 2003 campaign - with a huge win. The March Meet
has been held at the Famoso Raceway outside Bakersfield, CA for
the last 45 years. Next to the US Nationals, it is the longest
running annual event in drag racing. In four decades only one
driver has won Top Fuel Eliminator four times ... Jim Murphy.
Until this year Murphy was tied with Don Garlits and James Warren
at three wins a piece. Now he stands alone grabbing the gold
in 1998, 1999, 2003 and now 2004.
After a weekend of record crowds,
when the warm California sun set Sunday evening, Jim Murphy and
the OSH -WW2 Racing crew were the victors over another stellar
field of Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragsters. The final pitted the two
quickest cars on the property, the yellow and black OSH entry
of Murphy and the VRA Speed record holder, Jack "The Sheriff"
Harris in his "Nitro Thunder" fueler. Murphy's 5.88
@ 247 was just enough to beat Harris' 5.92 @ 241 and give the
OSH team their first step in repeating the VRA Top Fuel Championship
and keeping the big # 1 on the car.
Enjoy the entire story and photos
Top Fuel Qualifying
1. Jack Harris 5.907 @ 252.80
2. Jim Murphy 5.919 @ 255.31
3. Bill Dunlap 5.937 @ 221.72
4. Jeff Diehl 5.995 @ 247.45
5. Jason Richey 6.071 @ 241.22
6. Brendan Murry 6.137 @ 230.59
7. Pete Kaiser 6.145 @ 229.59
8. Chuck Tanko 6.173 @ 227.50
9. Sean Bellemeur 6.178
10. Lee Jennings 6.207 @ 227.73
11. Rick White 6.377 @ 163.69
12. Rick McGee 6.380 @ 175.91
13. Denver Schutz 6.412 @ 226.07
14. Rick Rogers 6.554 @ 202.93
15. Mark Malde 6.614 @ 215.67
16. Dusty Renteria 6.702 @ 184.53
Jim Murphy's weekend started
as good as it ended. On Thursday night he accepted the 2003 Goodguys/VRA
Top Fuel Champion trophy and the Goodguys awards ceremony.
The first qualifying
session was held on Friday afternoon. Here Murphy heats the tires
prior to his first trip down the quarter mile in 2004.
Playing it safe,
the OSH-WW2 Racing crew carded an easy 6.191 @ 216.39. The clutch
was a bit loose and Murphy shut the car off early.
Murphy rolls into the
#2 - Saturday AM. Murphy is still in tune-up mode. Here he heats
the tires prior to the run.
After a good leave, the OSH-WW2
Racing entry launched hard and ultimately improved their time
with a 6.123 at just 205.19. Murphy shut the car off early so
they could get a solid computer reading for the final qualifying
shot later in the day.
As always, the pits is where
races are won and lost. The OSH-WW2 Racing crew may be a volunteer
group but they know how to get the job done.
Jim Murphy and Ron Rapadas do
some last minute touch ups on the potent hemi engine prior to
their third qualifying attempt on Saturday.
Crew Chief, Tim Beebe is one
of the main reasons for Murphy's success. Tim has been in drag
racing his entire adult life and has forgotten more than most
tuners will ever know.
The WW2 "Womens
Auxilery" knows how to enjoy a drag race!
Tires get good and hot.
This will be an all out attempt at the #1 spot.
The third and final qualifying
round was held late Saturday afternoon. Here Murphy is lined
up in the water box prior to his burnout.
"Sneaking up" on the
tune-up paid off as Murphy cards a stellar 5.919 @ 255.31 (top
speed of the meet). At the time is was good for the #1 qualifying
spot. Jim would be dropped two runs later to #2 by Jack Harris
by on one hundredth of a second.
The OSH-WW2 Racing
team are obviously pleased with their final qualifying run. The
crowd is on their feet with approval.
Prior to the second qualifying
session, Murphy and crew chief, Tim Beebe check out the starting
line conditions during A/Fuel.
Sunday, March 13 - Eliminations
Murphy and Kaiser back
up from their burnouts.
The first round of racing on
Sunday found Murphy pitted against the #7 qualifier, Pete Kaiser.
The OSH-WW2 Racing car left hard
and pulled away to a 5.96 @ 220 win over Kaiser's game 6.15 @
A new addition to Murphy's pit
area this year is the OSH Hospitality Center. Throughout the
weekend friends and fans alike stopped by for a cold drink, a
snack or just conversation. If their timing was right, some folks
got some great tri-tip.
Without a doubt, the OSH "bucket
campaign" is a huge hit with the fans. By the time Sunday
rolled around, they where everywhere you looked.
Jim Murphy always
packs his own parachutes but not without the help of young Rick
Nordness. Rick also helps Jim with mixing the fuel.
Round Two of racing paired
Murphy with Brendan Murry.
From the green light it was Murphy
all the way. Murry, down on horsepower, could only muster a 6.70
@ 188 and watch the yellow car card a sub-par 6.32 for the win.
Murphy dodged a bullet in this
race when the engine suffered some internal damage accounting
for the 6.32 ET. Had Murry been on his game the results could
have been different.
Before the finals it
was all business in the pits.
Barry Byrne backs Jim
up after the burnout.
At the green, both cars
To say this was a great
drag race would be an understatement.
At the 1200' mark you
could throw a blanket over both cars.
The final pitted the #1 and #2
qualifiers - Murphy vs Harris. A match up the fans pay their
money for. Friends off the track - fierce rivals on - when these
two come to the line there is no quarter given, no easy tune-up
- no shut off early.
After getting out of
the car, the look on Jim Murphy's face says it all.
At the stripe it was Murphy with
a stout 5.888 (low ET of the meet) @ 247 to Harris' very close
5.92 @ 241. These are the kinds of races that keep the fans coming
back for more!
Before returning to the chaos
at the Winners Circle, the crew posed for WDIFL on the top end.
Everyone in this shot played a part in this historic win.
This picture says a thousand
AA/FD Inc. - Nostalgia Top Fuel Teams
All is well that ends well. Jim
Murphy and the Top Fuel Eliminator trophy for the 45th annual