April 8-10, 2002
Racing Photo Highlights
Murphy Sets Top Speed: 240.98
After their 5.81 - 255 at Bakersfield, Jim Murphy, Tim Beebe
and the WW2-OSH Racing team came to Sonoma with high hopes of
a 5.7 run. Drag racing being the unpredictable and heartless
beast it is, those hopes were dashed by parts and human failure.
Murphy qualified an uncharacteristic 13th then lost a very close
first round race to Bob Muravez.
After spinning the tires in his
first qualifying attempt, Murphy got into the show in session
two in spite of severe engine problems. Here the WW2 car leaves
ahead of Rance McDaniel who clicked off a 5.95. At the finish
line Murphy wasn't that far behind (below) with a shut off 6.26 at just 182 MPH.
The car was running very good until an engine failure toward
the finish line forced Murphy to shut it down.
Backing up to
Friday afternoon, every race starts with the time consuming but
necessary "set-up". Here the new WW2-OSH trailer is
in place and the crew is starting to make the pit "battle
Until the awning, tables and
other facilities necessary to work on the car are ready, the
dragster remains "in the box".
The first round
of qualifying brought a mixed bag of results. In spite of a few
stout times, most of the cars had trouble hooking up after the
eighth mile mark. Here both Murphy and John Shoemaker were very
busy in their respective lanes both ending up to the right. Murphy
6.39 @ 172 -- Shoemaker 6.48 @ 197.
Murphy had no
trouble launching like a rocket on every pass - the problems
bit him on the other end.
After the second
qualifying session the crew had to replace the damaged supercharger
that cut the run short after it "banged" at about the
1000 foot mark. The failure was due to a faulty valve in the
fuel system. Although its one of the best prepped cars at any
race, nobody can foresee the "little things" that can
bite you every time these big nitro burning engines go down the
After the second
qualifying session the WW2-OSH dragster was in pieces. The problem
that caused the blower backfire also caused an internal engine
parts failure. The failure necessitated a complete engine change
- something nobody likes to do at a race.
The damage engine
is stripped of useable parts as the spare is installed in the
race car. An experienced crew, such as this can change engines
in a surprisingly short period of time - usually less than 90
Car repair or even normal maintenance
is always a group effort. Even the wives have jobs to do. Fortunately
this was after the last qualifying session on Saturday so there
was no panic to get the car back together in record time. They
had until the next day to make sure it was repaired correctly.
In the first
round of eliminations Bob Muravez got a slight starting line
advantage over Murphy and that was what he needed to win the
Murphy's margin of defeat
was about 3 feet!
In an incredibly
close finish Muravez's 0.487 to a 0.526 advantage allowed him
to capture the win 6.069 @ 230.76 to Murphy's quicker and faster
6.052 @ 240.98 (top speed of the event). This one falls under
the category of "that's drag racing".
to the trailer...
After the first
round loss, even more engine damage was present. Jim Murphy and
Tim Beebe vow that these kinds of problems will come to an end
with a new and much more aggressive maintenance program.