Ends 2002 Season With Huge Win
T/F Eliminator - Low ET - Top Speed
Final Top Fuel
The 2002 nostalgia
drag racing season ended much as it started -- at Bakersfield
featuring some incredible performances mixed with stunning upsets.
Three days of perfect racing weather saw Jim Murphy in the OSH-WW2
Racing fueler qualify in the #1 slot with a stout 5.85 and proceed
to sweep the table.
1. Jim Murphy 5.857 251.74
2. Jack Harris 5.885 243.50
3. Gerry Steiner 5.893 250.06
4. Bill Dunlap 5.949 238.09
5. Bill Alexander 5.999 199.86
6. Denver Schutz 6.003 233.10
7. Rick McGee 6.033 226.13
8. Brendan Murry 6.044 237.27
9. Lee Jennings 6.175
10. Todd Meikle 6.361 211.26
11. Mike Lockman 6.441 184.46
12. Pete Kaiser 6.443 170.58
13. Bob Hallock 6.601 157.26
14. John Shoemaker 8.050 105.80
15. Tim Gibson 12.445 61.71
At the first
event of the year (VRA March Meet) Jim Murphy made the quickest
and fastest pass ever in a NTF car (5.81 @ 255). With that it
looked like the OSH-WW2 Racing team had overcome the gremlins
that haunted them throughout the 2001 season. But this is drag
racing - a demanding and unforgiving mistress that will give
you a big kiss then whack you in the head with a broken connecting
rod. And so Murphy and company spent the better part of this
season getting hit in the head with rods (and other assorted
parts) before they came close to enjoying the performance yielded
at the March Meet. Yes, there was a problem and yes, they finally
found it. At the Gold Rush Nationals at Sacramento (Oct 19-20)
Murphy set low ET (5.87), Top Speed (252) and won the event.
This left the team very confident coming into the Fuel &
Gas Finals. Their confidence was not only warranted but prophetic.
Murphy left Bakersfield with his second win in as many weeks
setting low ET (5.85) and Top Speed (251) in the process.
After an easy
single in round one (bye-run as low qualifier) in round two Murphy
leaves hard and cards a nice 5.92 @ 246 to send "Wild Bill"
Alexander and the "Ground Zero" team packing.
This shot illustrates
how far ahead Murphy was after his final round win.
As the sun set
and the track got a little "Patch Moisture" on it,
Murphy and Murry staged for the final race of the final event
of the season. With identical reaction times, the two cars stayed
side by side to the 600' mark when Murry started to "skate"
toward the center line. Albeit a final round, Brendan used good
judgment and reeled the car in as Murphy scored a top-end tire
spinning 6.15 at a click-it early 213 win.
Most race car drivers like and
respect each other. This is the case with Murphy and Murry. Although
he was far behind Jim at the finish, Brendan was out of his car
first and on the spot to congratulate his opponent for his win.
Murry) and buddy Jim Murphy share a happy moment before the crews
get to the top end to pick them up.
As Jim and Brendan
were dismounting, the crew was waving to the cheering crowd as
they made their way to the far end to pick up the car (and Jim).
Can you say -
HAPPY CREW? The entire OSH-WW2 Racing team starts the celebration
over a half mile away from were the car left the starting line
less than 5 minutes before.
In the semis
Murphy was paired with Gerry Steiner - a show in itself. But
what should have been the best race of the event went sour when
Steiner gets way loose and is forced to lift. Steiner was a tenth
behind at the start - combine that with his traction problems
and he clicked it off. Murphy slows to a 6.26 at just 189 but
that was good enough to meet Brendan Murry in the final.
was happy with that one! And so were the thousands of fans.
Backing up to
qualifying, Murphy's weekend started on Friday with this "easy"
5.946 at only 220.48. The wheels-up launch was picture perfect.
First pair. First five. Murphy was trailing some smoke through
the lights as if some internal pieces were consuming themselves
and that would explain the slow speed.
highlight of Saturday was the presentation of the Goodguys VRA
5-Second Club trophies. At the time 11 of the 12 available spots
were filled (Murry filled # 12 just 24 hours later). From LtoR;
Rick McGee (the only one of the group under 60), Rance McDaniel,
Jack Harris, Gerry Steiner, Lee Jennings, Jim Murphy, Bill Alexander
and Bill Dunlap.
This could be
titled: "Murphy talks and the others listen". Just
a guess. LtoR: McGee, Harris, McDaniel, Dunlap, Alexander, Steiner
on the track - good friends off. That's would describe the relationships
of 90% of all drag racers.
For some reason
Murphy was finding much humor in the process and Marc Meadors
(yellow shirt) seems to be very lost in the format. Nonetheless,
it was a great honor as only 12 people will ever receive this
Murphy does his burnout
in preparation to the last qualifying session on Saturday.
Although Bob Hallock was ahead
of Murphy at the 300 foot mark (because he red lighted) the end
result for the OSH-WW2 Racing team was a stout 5.857 @ 251.74
which was good for the # 1 spot and a give-me single in the first
round on Sunday as only 15 cars qualified for the 16 car show.
All weekend the
OSH-WW2 Racing pit was filled with fans and crew. Jim Murphy
was constancy signing autographs for the young and old.
The OSH-WW2 Racing
team, their win didn't come easy. After a fairly laid-back Friday
(above), the crew had major maintenance to do after every run
on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday night was especially
intense as the crew knew it was their race to win. To do that
everything had to be ready for Sunday. The engine came out of
the car and was completely gone through to be sure all was right.
With the race
engine back in the car, Crewchief Tim Beebe (blue shirt) and
Murphy made sure that their game plan was in tact.
The crew goes
through a routine warm-up (putting heat in the engine and making
sure there are no mechanical problems or leaks) during eliminations
Jim Murphy pours the nitromethane into the tank, team WW-2 preps
the car for the final round against Murry.
Back to the good stuff - the
crew savors the victory as they wait their turn in the winners
circle for the trophy and media photographs.
This says it
all - Jim Murphy sitting in the Goodguy's office waiting for