Jim Murphy had a triumphant return to the winner’s circle at the March Meet, ending a nearly twenty-year drought since his last victory in 2004. Murphy’s win in the rain-delayed event not only marked his fifth March Meet title, but also tied him with the legendary “Big Daddy” Don Garlits for the most Top Fuel eliminator wins in history. Murphy expressed his joy and disbelief at the victory, stating, “It’s really special, I got to tell you. It’s a storybook ending.”

Murphy’s path to victory was not an easy one. He started eliminations with a clutch round win on Friday, defeating the undefeated Tyler Hilton. Despite facing elimination in the semi-finals due to a malfunction in the timing system, Murphy managed to secure a rerun of the race and emerged victorious, clocking in a fourth-place qualifying time. In the final round, Murphy faced off against two-time March Meet winner Pete Wittenberg, ultimately edging him out to claim the title.

With his March Meet win, Murphy now sets his sights on the Wally Parks NHRA Nostalgia Nationals, determined to close out his driving career on a high note and challenge for the championship. Meanwhile, Pete Kaiser unexpectedly claimed the No. 1 qualifying spot in Top Fuel, setting the stage for an exciting first round of eliminations on Sunday.

In the Nitro Funny Car category, the opening round of eliminations at the Wally Parks NHRA Nostalgia Nationals saw several upsets, with top qualifiers Jerry Espeseth and Billy Morris falling to lower-ranked competitors. Jim Maroney and Derrick Moreira pulled off surprising victories, while the match-up between Drew Austin and Bobby Cottrell showcased a rematch from the previous March Meet. Cottrell once again emerged victorious, setting the stage for an exciting quarterfinal round.


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