- OSH-WW2 Racing Runner-up at Sonoma
ET of the Meet - 5.93
Top Fuel Qualifying
Jim Murphy and
the OSH-WW2 Racing team saw their winning streak come to an end
at the 15th VRA Nitro Nationals at Infineon Raceway with a runner
up finish to Jack Harris. Nonetheless, the runner up allowed
Murphy and the OSH-WW2 Racing team to maintain the points lead
in VRA Top Fuel and as a consolation, they netted low ET of the
meet with a 5.93.The goal for 2003 was to regain the # 1 on the
side of the car and so far, so good.
1. Rick McGee 5.964 222.14
2. Jim Murphy 6.020 197.74
3. Jack Harris 6.032 217.53
4. Bill Dunlap 6.044 225.71
5. Denver Schutz 6.135 223.43
6. Brendan Murry 6.153 217.00
7. Kent Terry 6.153 217.00
8. Butch Blair 6.169 195.65
9. Lee Jennings 6.274 215.96
10. Mark Malde 6.364 221.42
11. Fred Farndon 6.433 185.99
12. Rick Rogers 6.569 195.22
13. Mike Lockman 6.578 196.04
14. Bill Alexander 6.615 203.68
15. Jeff Diehl 6.899 119.63
16. Chuck Tanko 6.943 164.45
The Top Fuel
final should have been a great match up pitting Jack Harris who
had run a 5.98 in round 2 against Jim Murphy who'd carded a 5.93
in the opening stanza. However, Murphy had to do a complete engine
swap after the semis and in the thrash one detail was missed
- the throttle stop used on the burnout. When Jim went to heat
the tires nobody was home - the stop wouldn't allow enough throttle
to smoke the M&Hs. Everybody, including Harris would have
rather had a clean drag race.
At the green
Harris was gone and Murphy blazed the tires about 200 feet out
and shut her off. End of deal. The Sheriff motored on down for
the win with a 6.11 at 223. After losing to Murphy in the final
at the 2003 March Meet, Harris evens the score.
Unable to negotiate
a burnout in the finals, Murphy had no choice but to go for it.
These photos tell the results. It's one thing to spin the tires
on the top end, but you can't recover from blowing them off at
the bottom ... not against Harris anyway.
Race day started
off very good for the OSH-WW2 Racing fueler. After qualifying
# 2 with a 6.02 at just 197, Murphy drew Mark Malde in round
on the burnout, the only concern was how bad would the tires
spin on the top end. The concern was well founded. Here is a
series of photos of the Low ET run.
Barry Byrne makes a last minute
adjustment to the injector as Jeff Shamrock checks the chutes
and prepares to activates the data computer at the rear of the
At the green it was all Murphy.
As they say in horse racing, he was quite the best running low
ET of the event. In spite of spinning the rear tires from the
800 to 1000 foot mark (where he shut it off) Jim still ran a
5.93 at 217. As it would do on every run, the engine RPM soared
to 10,300 plus. When this happens its impossible to make a full
1320 foot run without blowing up.
As illustrated here, the track was very good for the first
half but was not prepped well enough to handle the high horsepower
cars on the other end.
At the 1100 foot mark Murphy
has closed the throttle and literally lets his momentum carry
the car through the lights. The data computer showed it would
have been a low 5.80 240+ run had the tires not gotten loose
forcing an early shut down.
Like most drivers, Jim Murphy
packs his own chutes and mixes the nitro. Here Jim and his right
hand man, Rick Nordness fill the tank with fuel before their
second qualifying attempt.
Between rounds its SOP to tear
the engine down and service the clutch ... especially when you're
running on a loose track. Spinning the engine at high RPMs can
hammer bearings, stretch rods and beat up the valve train (as
they found out in the semis).
The volunteer OSH-WW2 Racing
crew is among the best in Nostalgia Top Fuel and its amazing
how hard they work just for the love of it.
After the burnout, both
cars back up in unison.
In round two Murphy faced the
always tough Brendan Murry who'd run 6.03 @ 228 in round one.
The race was over before it started.
Murry got a bit anxious and left too early (see red light in
photo) while Murphy cut a nice 0.481 light and ran another tire
spinning 6.01 @ a shut off 214.
In spite of his red light, Murry
made a 800 foot pass which gave the fans a show. Here Murphy
blasts by him at half track.
After each pass,
Murphy and crew chief Tim Beebe always go over the run and formulate
a game plan for the next. Much of their tuning decisions are
made from the data collected on the previous run and displayed
on the computer in the trailer.
As he always does, Barry
Byrne backs Jim up after his burnout.
Murphy launched hard
but the top end tire spin finally bit him.
In the semi finals, Murphy was
paired with Jeff Diehl. Luckily for Jim, Diehl smoked the tires
early and was out of the race before the OSH-WW2 car broke an
intake valve and suffered a severe engine damage down track.
Murphy coasted through (below) with a 6.36 at just 167 MPH.
Luckily the valve damage and
blower pop didn't result in a fire or oil down so Jim was able
to coast to a safe stop.
The broken intake valve resulted
in a huge thrash to put a new engine in for the final. Before
the car was even off the ground, fellow racers Rick McGee, Bill
Dunlap, Brendan Murry, Davey Urehara, the Ground Zero crew and
more were on hand to help. Thanks to everyone, Murphy made the
call only to lose to Harris in the final.
A new short block is
ready to go into the car.
Tim Beebe has the spare blower
and injector aside the damaged unit, making sure the spare is
set up identical to the one that was on the car.
While the guys thrash,
the gals talk. Go figure.
There's always time for some
good food and Jim Nordness cooks up some great tri-tips for the
crew and photogs <grin>.
the track, friends the rest of the time - Jim Murphy congratulates
Jack on his win. Some say these two are the "Bernstein &
Dixon" of Nostalgia Top Fuel. Could be. The chances are
they will do battle a few more times before the season's over
and the outcome will probably be a coin toss every time.
OSH-WW2 Racing team makes the long tow back to the pits after