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As SoCal braces itself for what locals call "extreme weather event" and what the rest of United States refer to as "rain," a handful of nitro-burning teams will be making the trek through the San Joaquin Valley en route to Famoso Raceway in preparation for the mother of all Heritage-style drag racers, the 2014 Bakersfield March Meet.
Among those waiting out tomorrow's imminent thunderstorms and hoping to put down some laps this Saturday and Sunday are Jim Murphy and the "WW2" entry. "We are going to be at the track Saturday to shake off the rust," Murphy the defending 2013 NHRA Heritage Series Top Fuel champ, said in all modesty.
"We worked very hard over the winter on the new car that I got from Frank Ousley. It's one bad hot rod and all we really did was make it a lot easier to work on, get the cockpit more comfortable for me and were able to take a little more weight off the car," Murphy reported. Despite finishing as the 2013's ruler of the fuelers, during the off-season the "WW2" team never stopped tinkering in its quest to repeat.
"Another project was to make sure we are very well prepared. (Crew chief) Tim Beebe is not with the team anymore as he told me he was getting tired of it and not having much fun. This means that my old friend Daniel Wilkinson and myself are running the car now with some help from Frank Ousley. And Frank is a 'take no prisoners' type of guy."
Murphy isn't the dragster driver blowing out the cobwebs: The "Cheetah
IV" dragster has already put in some laps this year, and they were cat-quick. "We snuck down to Sears Point and made a 330-foot pass and a full pass," driver Terry Cox reports. "It was the best lap to date for the team 5.81 at 259.96 mph, and the best 60-foot, best half-track ET and speed. It only pinched one ring, so we are optimistic about the
March Meet, but it is Top Fuel..."
Earlier this month at Famoso, "Team Craig," "Neal & White" and the "Circuit Breaker" top-fuel dragsters laid down some rubber and left no oil.