Richmond County Daily Journal
While there are some seniors at Richmond Senior High still trying to figure out their next step once they graduate, one has already started to map out his career plans.
Derby native Warren McBride goal is to be involved in drag racing, in some kind of capacity. The 18-year-old is already working when needed at the Rockingham Dragway, where his duties include making sure there are no oil spills on the one-fourth mile strip.
“I like working out there,” McBride said. “I get paid $7 an hour, which isn’t bad and I get to be around something, I really like.”
And if a car catches on fire, McBride will help with the fire crew because he is also a volunteer fire fighter for the Fire Department in Ellerbe. McBride’s dad, Phillip, is the assistant chief for the department, while his mother, Tammy Wright, worked 28 years as a fire fighter and emergency medical technician (EMT).
McBride has been a volunteer fire fighter for three years, and that experience helped him get a job with the IHRA Drag Racing Track Rescue organization. Headquartered in Sarasota, Fla., the group is a private fire/rescue organization dedicated solely to motorsports safety.
The rescue group is headed by Craig Clarke, who came to one of the IHRA events last April at the dragway and sent McBride an application after he said was interested in the job.
Clarke notified McBride he was selected to join the Track Rescue group. McBride will begin working on March 6 at the Mardi Gras Nationals in Baton Rouge, La.
“I’m very excited about it, and I think I’m going to enjoy doing it when I go down there,” McBride.
Wright said she is proud of her son’s accomplishments.
“I really think this a great opportunity,” Wright said. “A lot of young men his age don’t get this type of opportunity in this day and time. This is something that’s positive and I believe he will go real far.”
McBride said the job will take him across the county this summer. He will be working events in Oklahoma, Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maryland, as well as, some races in Rockingham.
Traveling out-of-state is not new for McBride. He did that last summer when he worked with Rosberg Motorsports of Rockingham and driver Dick Rosberg.
“I went with him to different places like Idaho, New Jersey and Florida,” McBride recalled. “After he would drive the car, he would allow me to drive it to the pit.”
Getting behind the wheel of a dragster is something McBride says he likes doing. McBride’s uncle, Bert, first got him interested in drag racing. McBride works Monday through Friday at his uncle’s Derby Custom Paint and Body Shop.
“My uncle was racing when I was little, he had a car and he would he would let me ride and drive with him,” McBride said. “He really got me intrigued about it.”
Besides all of the other work McBride does around the drag strip, he also drag races part-time and is the owner of a 1972 Nova, which he purchased for $1,500 last year from Johnny Woolard from Moore County. Woolard sold the car to McBride after believing the transmission had given away.
“My dad found out about him selling it, let me know and I went over to talk to him about it,” McBride said. “A couple weeks later, I bought it from him. The transmission wasn’t really messed up, but the case on it was. We had an old case at my uncle’s shop, so we fixed it and put it on the car. We had a motor there and we put that into the car as well. I raced it twice last year, and I finished runner-up in one race. But it’s ready to go. All I got to do is change the oil and the transmission fluid.”
McBride said he plans to race at the Rockingham Dragway’s Memorial Iron Man Bracket Races over Memorial Day weekend.
McBride hasn’t forgotten about school and is the midst of working on a big senior project, which involves building a road cage for his mother truck she plans race in.
With school, two jobs and about to start work another one, McBride doesn’t seem to have much time for social activities. But McBride has no problem with staying busy.
“I do some things, but I don’t mind working,” McBride said. “Most teenagers don’t want to work now. They just want to sit around and do nothing.”
McBride hopes his upcoming involvement with track rescue will be a stepping stone to reach his future goal.
“I would like to work in the safety department in NHRA, which is a step higher than the IHRA,” McBride said. “I wouldn’t mind doing rescue and racing. Right now, I’m happy to get my foot in the door and see how this goes.”
n Contact sports reporter Corey Davis at 997-3111, ext. 44; e-mail email@example.com