CA. Once again Greg Sharp, Sam Jackson, Steve Gibbs and the entire
NHRA Motorsports Museum staff gave us yet another unforgettable
weekend. CHRR 14 was three days of hot weather filled with non
stop action and events punctuated with a 49 car Cacklefest on
Saturday night. Emotions ran high as old friends were reunited,
fallen comrades remembered, legends honored and some incredibly
close racing contested. I'm way done saying, "It can't get
any better than this." Because every year it does.
a huge crowd pack Famoso Raceway for Nostalgia Top Fuel qualifying
and round one of eliminations under the lights. Come Sunday,
a smaller but equally enthusiastic crowd was treated to the last
three rounds of the quickest 16 car NTF show in history. For
the WW2 Racing fueler of Jim Murphy this was a good news, bad
news event. Murphy qualified #9 with a solid 6.047 222.22 at
236.53 then lost an oh so close race in round one of eliminations.
Photos and full story below.
The first qualifying session
was held on Friday afternoon in hot (95 degrees) weather. Jim
Murphy in his WW2 Racing entry was paired with Brett Harris in
"Nitro Thunder" . Both were two cars more than capable
of setting low ET.
Tim Beebe makes final
adjustments before Murphy moved up to stage.
but Murphy had a real nasty moment when his reverser malfunctioned
as he was putting on the pre-stage light (the stop pin broke
during the staging process and went into reverse). Catching the
problem, Murphy rolled backwards and out of the lights to regroup.
Harris left and Murphy restaged and waited for the tree to be
set before he left. After the run (and thinking of the possible
consequences) Murphy told me it was one of the scariest things
that ever happened to him. Had the reverser done that at the
hit --- well you figure it out. Or, what if this would happen
to a less experienced driver?
After watching Harris run a a
6.015 at 244.53 Murphy collected himself, restaged and ran a
6.135 at 236.53.
After getting the reverser modified
to insure that the problem on Friday would never happens again,
Jim relaxes while the crew gets the car ready for the second
Saturday afternoon the call went
out for the second and last qualifying session. Murphy was paired
with Chuck Tanko.
The first round of eliminations
on Sunday found Murphy racing Terry Cox.
Murphy left hard but the car
seemed to lay down on the top end to card a 6.047 at 222.22.
This would put Jim solidly in the show but not the run they were
After every run during qualifying
and a winning run in eliminations each car is weighed to make
sure it makes the minimum limit of 1600 lbs. All weights are
- October 02, 2005 - Bakersfield, CA - Final order after 2 rounds
of qualifying in Nostalgia Top Fuel at the 14th California Hot
Rod Reunion - the quickest 16 car field in history:
1. Sean Bellemeur
5.868 @ 253.87
2. Adam Sorokin 5.935 @ 234.92
3. Pete Kaiser 5.959 @ 249.79
4. Brad Thompson 5.959 @ 232.97
5. Jason Richey 6.012 245.36 @ 245.36
6. Brett Harris 6.015 244.53 @ 244.53
7. Bill Dunlap 6.015 230.53 @ 232.67
8. Rick Williamson 6.031 216.55 @ 216.55
9. Jim Murphy 6.047 222.22 @ 236.53
10. Denver Schutz 6.061 237.15 @ 237.15
11. Rick White 6.078 227.56 @ 227.56
12. Terry Cox 6.103 236.34 @ 236.34
13. Scott Mason 6.107 234.98 @ 234.98
14. Brendan Murry 6.111 238.66 @ 238.66
15. Rick McGee 6.111 231.36 @ 231.36
16. Mark Hyla 6.115 216.45 @ 216.45
------------ Not Qualified ------------
17. Rick Rogers
6.119 250.00 @ 250.00
18. Lee Jennings 6.121 233.34 @ 236.53
19. Mendy Fry 6.138 224.83 @ 224.83
20. Chuck Tanko 6.144 238.34 @ 238.34
21. Howard Haight 6.156 196.54 @ 196.54
22. Fred Farndon 6.569 176.15 @ 176.15
23. Mike Lockman 7.089 155.41 @ 155.41
24. Jerry Kumre Jr 7.307 145.27 @ 145.27
The crew prepares the
car for first round of eliminations Saturday night.
Murphy was in the first pair
out for round one facing Rick Williamson. It took only a moment
and there was the first upset of the meet as Murphy struck the
tires at the hit, peddled once and gave up. When you smoke the
tires this early in the run and your opponent doesn't its nearly
impossible to ever catch him. Williamson went on to a 6.131 at
so ended another frustrating weekend for the WW2 Racing team.
Their sights are now set on the VRA 7th Fuel & Gas Finals
at Bakersfield on October 28 - 30.