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VRA Finals

Murphy Ends 2002 Season With Huge Win
T/F Eliminator - Low ET - Top Speed

 

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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.

 


Final Top Fuel Qualifying
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  6.175 208.71
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
16. Open

 


 

Burnout 1

 

burnout

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.

 

crew

 

stage

 

stage 2

 

5.85

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.

 

100 MPH

 

chute out

 

final stage

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.

 

final - wheels up

 

finals chute

This shot illustrates how far ahead Murphy was after his final round win.

 

Jim - Murphy 1

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.

 

Jim - Murphy 2

 

Jim - Murphy 3

Runner-up (Brendan Murry) and buddy Jim Murphy share a happy moment before the crews get to the top end to pick them up.

 

finals crew

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).

 


 

celebrate 1

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.

 

celebrate 2

 

celebrate 3

 


 

Semis

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.

 

out on Steiner

 


 

Friday

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.

 

chute

 

crew

The crew was happy with that one! And so were the thousands of fans.

 


 

VRA 5-Second Club

The off-track 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.

 

5-Second Club 2

This could be titled: "Murphy talks and the others listen". Just a guess. LtoR: McGee, Harris, McDaniel, Dunlap, Alexander, Steiner and Murphy.

 

Steiner - Murphy

Intense competitors on the track - good friends off. That's would describe the relationships of 90% of all drag racers.

 

5-Second Club

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 award.

 


 

Saturday

Murphy does his burnout in preparation to the last qualifying session on Saturday.

 

5.87

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.

 

5.87 lights

 

low ET

 


 

Fans

All weekend the OSH-WW2 Racing pit was filled with fans and crew. Jim Murphy was constancy signing autographs for the young and old.

 


 

pits 1

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.

 

pits 2

 

pits 3

 

pits 4

 


 

pits 5

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.

 

pits 6

 

pits 7

 

pits 8

With the race engine back in the car, Crewchief Tim Beebe (blue shirt) and Murphy made sure that their game plan was in tact.

 


 

warm up 1

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 on Sunday.

 

warm up 2

 


 

Fuel

As Jim Murphy pours the nitromethane into the tank, team WW-2 preps the car for the final round against Murry.

 

Fuel 2




its over

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.

 

Miller Time

 


 

Happy Camper

This says it all - Jim Murphy sitting in the Goodguy's office waiting for THE CHECK!

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