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No Viva Las Vegas

 

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Jim Murphy and the OSH-WW2 Racing team started the 2004 season with a convincing win at the March Meet... then they hit a bump in the road in Las Vegas. Racing is all about performance and constantly performing better. In order to do this, the teams have to try new things and sometimes they don't work out. This was the case at the Goodguys 16th Nitro Nationals. After struggling on their two qualifying attempts on Friday, Murphy ripped off a nice 5.90 at 246 during the last session on Saturday to qualify # 2. Unfortunately they could not repeat that time in the first round of eliminations and lost to Bill Dunlap. Needless to say, this isn't the results the team was looking for and they plan to do some testing before the next event. The season is still young and a rebound is inevitable.

 

Final Top Fuel Qualifying

1. Jack Harris  5.867 @ 251.67
2. Jim Murphy  5.908 @ 246.89
3. Jeff Diehl  5.926 @ 248.34
4. Howard Haight  5.936 @ 250.23
5. Rick McGee  5.955 @ 239.53
6. Rick White  5.974 @ 245.94
7. Bill Dunlap  5.995 @ 249.03
8. Pete Kaiser  6.108 227.54

 


 

Murphy made his first burnout of the weekend at 4:55 Friday afternoon.

 

 

 

The track temperature was over 110 degrees so the track would be tricky.

 

 

In this session Murphy is paired with Rick White. Here both cars back up before a scarce crowd. Being a work day (and a hot one at that) the fans would be out later in the evening.

 

 

Both cars move into the staging beams.

 

Murphy left soft and never did get it all together carding a sub-par 6.244 @ 229.70.

 

 

 


 

The next qualifying session didn't go off until after 10 pm. Murphy sounded good, left good but had problems at the 900 foot mark and had to shut off to a disappointing 6.398 at just 164.31.

 


 

For the third and last qualifying session Murphy was paired with Lee Jennings. At this point Jim was sitting in the # 9 spot - not even in the top eight ('A' Field). He was the #1 qualifier in the 'B' field - a spot the OSH-WW2 Racing team wasn't used to being in.

 

 

With their backs to the wall, Tim Beebe and crew put it all together and jumped into the # 2 spot with a stellar  5.908 @ 246.89. It looked like their problems were fixed.

 


 

The first round of eliminations kicked off at 6 pm. Murphy would race the always tough Bill Dunlap who qualified # 7 with a 5.99 @ 249.

 

 

 

After the burnouts were completed, both drivers staged and waited until the green was good and safe and from there the only place Dunlap was slower than Murphy was at 330 foot mark. From that point Dunlap pulled away for a huge win. Murphy had problems down track and shut off after a big puff smoke came out of the headers. His 6.136 @ 211.53 was no match for Dunlap's 6.033 @ 231.16.

 

This is the first race in memory that the OSH-WW2 Racing team lost in the first round. It's a safe bet that it won't be something that ever happens on a regular basis. However, sometimes you just have to say, "That's racing" and come back strong the next time out.

 

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