10/22/06 — One more road trip for demo derby pair

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One more road trip for demo derby pair

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on October 22, 2006 2:09 AM

Larry Lane and Tim Kimbrough retire from the demolition derby every year.

At least, that's what they tell people -- every year.

But their crew chief, Bernice "Boss Man" Lane, says you shouldn't place a bet on that action.

He knows these Grantham drivers aren't going to put their cars in the garage anytime soon.

"These boys quit every year," he said. "They always come back though."

Maybe it's the roar of a Sunday crowd that has brought them back to the circuit fall after fall. Or, maybe, it is the trophies they have been adding to their collection for the last two years.

Either way, this year, the 15-year veterans are off to the state fair, saying again that this will be their last trip.

And if they bring back the championship trophy today, they say, it just might be.

"It'd mean a whole lot," Larry said. "Your competition's a lot stiffer in Raleigh. There's a lot of guys just like us up there. But our chances are as good as anybody's, I guess."

It's an event that brings families -- and a small Wayne County town -- together every October, Boss Man said.

"It's a family thing," he said. "Everybody gets into it. When we leave Grantham, nobody gets left behind."

For Larry and Tim's fan-base, support means more than just driving to the Wayne or State fairgrounds every fall.

"It ain't just the drivers that make these cars go," Larry said. "It's a lot of people. They work real hard."

Some walk down the street to lend a hand in the shop. Others touch up the paint job.

The cars are sponsored, too.

And while there are no corporate stickers lining the hood and rear like in NASCAR, the drivers' wives make sure the contributors are well-represented by painting shop and farm names down the sides of the No. 109 and No. 911 cars.

"We call it smashcar," Tim said.

And there are other teammates, too -- drivers including Tim's brother, Chris "Arab" Lane, the Fayetteville champ.

They are the reason Larry captured his first Wayne County title at this year's fair, he said.

"You try to have six to eight guys," he said. "We run together until the very end. But when it gets to the end, if we're still out there, it's every man for himself. It's a real battle. We put on a show."

It might come down to a battle between Grantham teammates this year, Larry added. At least, he hopes it does.

"You try to use teamwork," he said. "If you see one of your teammates hung up, the best thing to do is get them un-hung. You're going to need him at the end. And if it comes down to us, I told (Tim), they're going to need the Jaws of Life when I'm done with him."

"I hope it comes to that," Tim replied.

After all, he doesn't have to win to be happy this year. In fact, the 2005 Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair main event winner said it's the thrill of the show -- not victory -- that has kept him coming back.

"I love to put on a show," he said. "I love hearing that crowd get real loud."

Hopefully, Larry added, long hours in the shop and on the road will give his team a chance to bring home a win from Raleigh -- and give the Grantham faithful in the stands something to scream about.

"You've got to put a lot into it," he said. "So we're going to do the same thing we did at Goldsboro -- put on one hell of a show."

And they will do it for their hometown and for Wayne County, they said.

"We're going to give it everything we got," Arab said.

"We're going to represent Wayne County," Larry added. "We sure will."

And if they win, the team plans to keep Grantham up late on Halloween.

"It'll be a big old party," Larry said. "We'll blow it out, cook a pig and all. But I guess we'll do that anyway."