by Cole Coonce, WW2 Racing Mojo Wire 8/1/00, Santa Rosa, CA--There are some press releases that really need jazzing up from the p.r. flak. This is not one of them. The following is a raw, verbatim transcript of WW2 Racing majordomo, Jim...
by Cole Coonce, WW2 Racing Mojo Wire
8/1/00, Santa Rosa, CA--There are some press releases that really need jazzing up from the p.r. flak. This is not one of them. The following is a raw, verbatim transcript of WW2 Racing majordomo, Jim "Holy Smokes" Murphy as he recalled and reflected upon the participation of the WW2 AA/Fuel Dragster at the Goodguys 5th West Coast Hot Rod Happenin' at the Pomona Raceway last weekend.
By way of introduction to Murphy's refections let me say that Murphy went out in the first round of competition against his new nemesis and fly-on-the-ointment, the Gotelli Speed Shop AA/Fueler out of South San Franciso. This did not set well with Murphy as evinced by his staccato remembrance on the phone this evening, which was sort of a free verse soliloquy that was delivered at the ack-ack clip of antiaircraft fire. Aspiring nitromaniacs would do well to pay attention to this transcript as Murphy drops some fundamental nitro science here. To the benefit of the readers of this release, please be advised that I could barely get a word in edgewise with Murphy as he was on a roll, baby.
I had to contrast this interview with the only words that came out of Murphy's mouth Saturday evening as he surveyed a somewhat gooey lane (it had just been dumped on) and mentally prepared to do-or-die his way into the show. He said then that ""this will provide us with an opportunity to excel." Uh huh.
Okay, so here it is, the more-or-less unexpurgated "Holy Smokes" Reader:
ON MURPHY'S LAW (TIRES, BLOWER, MAG...):
"We stepped on our private parts. It was a tough weekend for us. We were behind from square one. We got the new tires (M&Hs with different sidewalls) and we went to mount them up Friday afternoon and one of the tubes had gone bad so Judy and I climbed in the truck and went back over the Grapevine and I got 'em fixed (at Ernie Hashim's M&H repository in Bakersfield) and came back that night (note: a five hour round trip).
"It wasn't a bad weekend... (perhaps) because the Lord was watching out for us. There were two issues that we could have blown the car to smithereens and that didn't catch us.
"We had a blower problem to start with, that (also) got us off on the wrong foot and I attribute some of that to air. The (adjusted) altitude was high and we shook on the first run with the new tire because we were down on power. I never even looked at the blower real carefully; we went on to fire it in the pits afterwards--everything had looked fine so we just stepped on it a little bit--and we fired it and everything stopped running. It ran for about fifteen seconds and shut itself off. What happened was that on the run one of the screws--this is something that everyone should know is that the screws for the rotor need to be locked tight--one of the screws came loose, the rotor came apart and disintergrated inside the mag and shorted itself out and it just stopped running. Had that happened on the run it would have been real ugly.
"That was a good thing but a bad thing. So we put a new cap and a new rotor and it turned out we had sheared the bottom shaft. We went to fire it and it wouldn't fire, it just went "whup-bup-bup-bup-bup."
"So that is why we were late to make our last qualifying run and of course when we got there we had nice big oil slick in front of us. We got down through that and actually our 60' and 330' times were pretty good on that deal, a 1.11 and a 2.82, which is pretty good for us. It usually a .13 to a .15... But then we had that oil slick and it was just spinnin' 'em to beat the band and I was out of the throttle some to about two thirds throttle, holding the brake the whole way and managed to get it on down there and run a 6.30.
"Saturday night we went through the whole thing and that's when we found we had a problem with the blower. We got that all fixed and put a fresh blower on. Frankly, I made a mistake because we run a little thinner head gasket in it to hop it up for eliminations and we normally run 16 (percent) over on the blower and we run it up to 18. It was stout. I should have just put the fresh blower on and it would have been alright because it left hard and went 30 or 40 feet and it just blew the tires off.
"On the run against Gotelli--and they are running really, really well--their 60' and 330' was 1.14 and 2.83. We should have just left it alone--made the blower right and it would've run better.
"I made the wrong decision. I knew Larry was going to run good. i knew we weren't going to go out there and run 6.20 and beat him, I felt."
ON POINTS RAMIFICATIONS:
"It's still wide open unless Bill wins at Sears Point (Sept. 9 & 10). There are three of four guys--us, Larry Gotelli, Rance (McDaniel, Champion Speed Shop) that are probably hovered together there. We are only two rounds behind.
"We are a fairly intense team. We enjoy ourselves but we are not fun and games. Our main purpose is to do a well as we can while we're there."
TRIUMPH VERSUS CATASTROPHE: A PUSH
"We could have just as easily not qualified. It shook (on the first run Saturday) and the one bolt that holds the gear on the idler had backed off. Had that come all the way out--we found that when we changed the overdrive and pulled the blower pulley off--we could have an explosion. Had that bolt come out it would've been real ugly. It was not as successful as we would have liked, but we were certainly being watched over."--fini.