County drivers take home a piece of ‘The Snake’

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By Patsy Thompkins
Special to The Beacon
There was some hard-charging racing Aug. 3 at Dublin Motor Speedway by The Bell & Bell Vintage Modified Racing Series. With a field of 17 Vintage cars, the track known as “The Rattlesnake” had plenty of bite this night.
With two points races left this season, Cameron Norris III, of Sandy Creek, continues to dominate the V8 Division. Norris has won four of the last five races, giving up one victory to Jeremy Cumbee, of Supply, in his V8 1939 Chevy Coupe.
This race dropped Cumbee back eight points behind Norris, who leads with 100. Cumbee seemed to be running well but was getting loose coming off the turns.
Joey Babson, of Shallotte, won in the 6-cylinder division, driving the Bill Tripp-owned 1933 Chevy “Skeeter.” That was the last time the car will run a race. Tripp has decided to retire it and possibly allow it to rest at Memory Lane Museum in Mooresville.
Jay Royal, of Southport, in his 1935 Ford found his way into the guardrail after spinning in turn four. Royal said his car was fast, but it was “wicked loose.” He said the only real damage done was to the ego part of the driving system. He finished eighth and dropped to fourth from third in points.
Even this late in the season, the number of cars in The Bell & Bell Vintage Series continues to increase. William Horrell, a former dirt-track driver who was a Winston Cup fabricator with Hoss Ellington Racing, Derrike Cope and Jim Testa Racing, made his debut Aug. 3 in the series. He is originally from Wilmington but now resides in Florence, S.C.
Horrell recalled the last time he raced on dirt: 1982 at Pender County Speedway.
“They had to pull me off the front-stretch wall, so embarrassed I wouldn’t even get out of the car,” he said. “True story — and it was someone else’s car. All I could see were little kids hanging on the fence and people staring down at me.”
But after racing at Dublin, Horrell said it was more eventful than his first race. He said the race was the only time he could remember thinking about what was happening rather than just reacting to it. He drove his 1938 V8 Chevrolet none too shabbily, either. He qualified fifth and finished fourth.
In V8 championship points, Brunswick County drives are in the top five. They and other series drivers will be at Myrtle Beach Speedway on Thursday, Aug. 15, for an exhibition race.
V8, top-five finishers: Cameron Norris III, Jeremy Cumbee, Dean Cumbee, William Horrell, Bobby Williamson. V8 points standings: Cameron Norris, 100; Jeremy Cumbee, 92; Bobby Williamson, 62; Jay Royal, 60; Dean Cumbee, 58.
Six-cylinder, top-five finishers: Joey Babson, Wade Skipper, Sherman Garris, Louis Hill, Gary Abrams. V6 points standings: Joey Babson, 94; Sherman Garris, 92; Wade Skipper, 52; Bill Tripp, 50; Blaise Bryant, 42.