Breakthrough Event for Former Champ

Jim Murphy, Roland Leong, Daniel Wilkison and the rest of the WW2 Racing
team were all smiles after a long anticipated National Event win.





Bowling Green, Kentucky - June 18, 2017:

Headlining the 15th Annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion was a stellar Top Fuel field featuring the quickest and fastest fuelers in the world. At the end of the day, Jim Murphy grabbed a long anticipated NHRA Heritage Series Top Fuel event win at the with a 5.71 ET at 257 MPH over opponent Jim Young who posted 5.92 ET at 253 MPH. Murphy welcomed the victory after climbing to five consecutive Nostalgia Top Fuel final rounds marked by unfortunate flukes. “We’ve had a dry spell for a couple of years, so this feels really good. It’s nice to get the monkey off my back”, said Murphy

Murphy drove the Roland Leong-tuned WW2 front engine Top Fuel dragster with remarkably consistent power and speed throughout the 8-car Eliminations battle, posting a 5.72 ET at 245 MPH Round One win over Julius Hughes in his Atlanta Speed Shop fueler and a 5.73 ET at 240 MPH Semi-Final clincher over March Meet winner Mendy Fry, who footed the High Speed Motorsports dragster to a 5.81 ET at 260.21 MPH against Murphy in a tight race that had the capacity crowd going wild.

Final round opponent Jim Young set low ET and Top Speed of the event with 5.61-seconds and 260.36 MPH and he moved up the Eliminations ladder over Tyler Hilton in the Great Expectations III and Tony Bartone in the Semi-Final while fighting tire shake so severe that it warped sections of the Young Guns dragster body. The Wisconsin-based Young was shaken but unbowed. “We’re making good horsepower, now I just have to get it down the track. I wish we could have sealed the deal, but we had a good outing”, said Young.

Jim Murphy and the WW2 team were last victorious at Bowling Green in 2013 and took the points Championship the same year. His win at the 15th Annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky capped a weekend of blazing Top Fuel racing action that puts the California-based Murphy as current points leader moving into the 3rd race of the 5-race 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel Championship.

Top Fuel aside, there were a ton of other race cars vying for the trophy in their respective classes. Those who scored were:

7.0 PRO
Don Nave, Lake City Chrysler, 8.982, 95.66 def. Ernie Lipinski, Neil & Parks, Foul - Red Light.

7.5 PRO
Darrell Wathen, Willys, 7.495, 172.70 def. Jeffrey Ferguson Jr., Spitzer, 7.488, 169.17.

Doug Duell, Plymouth, 9.503, 138.33 def. Diana Bookout, Chevelle, 9.998, 134.32.

Skeeter Wayne, Chevy, 9.498, 127.90 def. Bart Boles, Young, Foul - Red Light.

John Meinelt, Camaro, 11.684, 98.45 def. Frankie Riggs, Cuda, 12.409, 113.90.

Larry Key, Chevy II, 12.320, 87.46 def. Greg Carta, Camaro RS, 22.375, 32.78.

Bryan Fugate, Impala SS, 11.472, 118.58 def. Dave Coots, Impala, Foul - Red Light.

Pat Freels, Camaro, 10.091, 129.92 def. Dan Hobbs, Thunderbird, 8.632, 156.86.

John Swiek, Chevy CPE, 10.060, 129.14 def. Dustin Corn, Corvette, Foul - Red Light.

Chad Brewer, Nova, 10.825, 118.41 def. Bear Nichols, Nova, 10.375, 125.02.

The event closed with the famous Cacklefest as dozens of nitro burning machines came to life in a celebration of the history of the sport.


Some Text courtesy of All American Fuel Dragsters and NHRA Motorsports Museum






If you've ever been to a NHRR at Bowling Green you know the odds are very high that you'll see some rain during the weekend. This year it all hit on Thursday postponing any track time to late afternoon.






Top Fuel Qualifying Session 1


The first session of Top Fuel qualifying went off after 9 pm. First pair out was Jim Young in his "Young Guns Racing" entry out of Salem, WI and Jason Greenwood who hails from Racine, WI.






Young left hard, dangling the front wheels past the tree.










As collective jaws dropped, just like that Young stopped the clocks with a career best 5.683 at 243.94. Greenwood got a good baseline with a 6.462 at 232.91.




Pair two was "Diamond Dave" Miller out of Cedar Hill MO. and Tyler Hilton who hails from Cincinnati OH. He's the grandson of Jim & Alison Lee of Great Expectations Top Fuel fame. In fact, the Hilton car features pretty much the same paint scheme as the Lee's 1970 car and is named "Great Expectations III".












Hilton experienced tire smoke at the tree and pedaled it to a 7.057 at 211.19 while Miller clicked it early to a 6.040 at 192.63.




Next out was Adam Sorokin, from Glendale CA. driving the Champion Speed Shop entry and Julius Hughes out of Gainesville, GA, in the Atlanta Speed Shop car.










After a solid leave, Sorokin experienced problems before half track and shut off to a 12.961 at 65.75 while Hughes carded an abbreviated 7.018 at 158.02.





Next pair out featured the winner and runner-up of the 2017 March Meet. Mendy Fry in the potent High Speed Motorsports fueler and Jim Murphy in his WW2 Racing entry. SoCal vs NoCal.




















Murphy went to the #2 spot with a slowing 6.013 at 192.58 while Fry shut off early as well carding a 7.018 at 158.02. Young's 5.68 was looking huge at this point.





The final car out for session one was Paul Schultz in the sharp Spirit of Tulsa fueler.






Miller smoked the tires at the hit.




Paul pedaled and stabbed it again but not for long. Coasted through with a 12.045 74.29.






FRIDAY - Top Fuel Qualifying Session 2


Friday proved to be rain free but hot and humid. First out for session two was Jason Greenwood on a single.
















Greenwood was soft on the bottom but picked up to run a good mph.





Following the single, the first pair was Dave Miller and Tyler Hilton.













Hilton was off without a problem, not so for Miller. Not sure what happened but when the tree went green Diamond Dave went nowhere.








As Hilton moved into the #7 spot, Miller's crew look on in bewilderment at the ain't going nowhere race car. The issue seems to have been in the cockpit.





Another single came in the form of Mendy Fry.













The car left hard giving Fry nice early numbers.










With a nice 5.697 Fry leaped into the #2 spot.







Next up was Dusty Green in the Colorado based Nitro Hemi owned by Steve Harwood. Green did not run the Friday night session so the team was starting with no data. In the other lane was Paul Schultz who was not qualified.










This went ugly early. Green lit up the tires at the hit. Schultz was very soft on a track where soft was a no-no.










The results were predictable, two DNQ's with one session left.





Up next was the current #1 qualifier Jim Young and on the other end of the spectrum, Dave Miller who was not in the show.








Young was out like a rocket, Miller not so much. It was apparent here, as at all nitro races, that clutch management was the key and several here forgot to bring said key. The numbers bear out that the track was there, you just had to find it.







Its all about the clutch.


Bam, Young stayed #1. Low ET, Top Speed of the meet. Just missing the 5.5 club, Young again improved his personal best numbers with a 5.618 at 260.36. Young Guns indeed. Not even in the same movie, Miller remained on the outside looking in.





Next to last pair featured Tim Cullinan and Julius Hughes. Neither car was in the show.



















Both drivers improved, neither qualified.






Out for the last single of the session was Adam Sorokin who, at this point, was a DNQ.







The Champion car had a great launch.










When all seemed good, it wasn't. As can be seen in this great catch by Bob Sopko Jr. the blower is held on only by the restraints when the mouse went south.



Carding a 5.881 at only 185.21 suggests Sorokin was on a pass, still sat #5 at the end of the session.





The final pair pitted two of the big dogs, Jim Murphy and the reigning Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series champion, Tony Bartone who passed on the Friday night session.




































Top Fuel Qualifying - Sessions 1 & 2 - Page 1

Top Fuel - Qualifying Session 3 - Page 2

Top Fuel Eliminations Rounds 1 & 2 - Page 3

Top Fuel Finals - Funny Cars & Fuel Altereds - Page 4

Other Cars - Page 5

2017 NHRR Cacklefest




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