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McBride Hit by Isabella
By: Jack Korpela

Four-time AMA/Prostar Top Fuel champion Larry McBride isn't contemplating the usual clutch set-up, 60-foot time-type thoughts that usually run through his head two weeks before a race; he's been sidetracked by something much more serious.

McBride suffered severe damage to his home, shop, and personal belongings after the vicious Hurricane Isabella unremittingly frayed its way through his home town of Newport News, VA.

"We lost our deck, pool, and some personal stuff. We also took structural damage to the house and shop," McBride said. "Just about everything we own is a total mess."

Fortunately McBride and his family remain physically unscathed by the storm. "I just thank God everybody is alright," McBride said. "Material possessions can be replaced."

This ferocious storm, which has claimed over 30 lives and left many of McBride's neighbors homeless, has completely changed the champ's perspective.

"We were lucky," McBride said. "We've got people in this town without a house tonight. There are over 40 homes missing! I know a guy that left his house before the storm, and now all he has left is what he took with him in his pockets."

Isabella's devastating effects lingered as it left about 1.8 million Virginia residents without electricity and pushed tidal waters up to nine feet in some areas.

"Just about everyone took an awful lot of water," McBride said. "The whole town smells awful from all the mildew on people's carpets and such."

Although of fractional importance, McBride's chances of making it to the next Prostar race in Alabama are slim.

"At this time I really doubt we are going to make it," McBride said. "I have so many things going on right now trying to help our family and clean up our own mess that I can't even think."

President Bush has officially declared the vicinity a disaster area and Newport News mayor, Joe Frank is working diligently to ensure relief to all of those in need.

Even in such a trying time the only five second motorcycle drag racer remains upbeat. "We're just going to keep on rolling along," McBride said. "Everyone's ok and that's what's important. We've just got a lot of cleaning up to do."

May God bless The McBride's and all affected by the storm.

For more information on Isabella's deadly effects go to -


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