Dick Brooks

Dick Brooks

14/4/1942 - 1/2/2006

Brooks was the 1969 NASCAR Rookie of the Year. He won one race, the 1973 Talladega 500, and earned 93 top-10 finishes in 358 starts. He retired from racing following the 1985 season and went on to a successful career as a Motor Racing Network broadcaster. He was also a team owner in NASCAR.

Brooks' NASCAR career began in 1969 at Daytona, and he competed later that season in the first ever event sanctioned by the series at Talladega Superspeedway, finishing fifth. During a career that eventually spanned 17 years and 358 starts, Brooks posted 150 top-10's and 57 top-5's. However, his Talladega victory on Aug. 12, 1973 marked his only visit to victory lane in NASCAR's top series.

According to the book 25 Years of Talladega Superspeedway by Clyde Bolton, Brooks was so moved by the win that he literally cried tears of joy.

"All of a sudden I started snubbing," Brooks recalled Bolton. "I was crying, and I couldn't even see the turn. That's the reason I went around an extra lap when it was over. I didn't want to come to victory lane and have everybody see me like that. I've wanted it so long."

At the time, Brooks was in the process of financing his own team as he had done few years prior. The winnings from the Talladega victory gave him the extra push he needed, and in the last six races he ran that year, the last two were as a driver/owner. In addition, he went on to run 16 races for his own team in 1974 before rejoining forces with Junie Donlavey in 1975.

In January 2004 he flipped his airplane during taxiing. Brooks was in a serious condition at Spartanburg Regional Hospital. He wasn't intending to take off and hit a bump on the runway and flipped the airplane. Since Brooks wasn't intending on taking off he was not wearing his seat belts. Brooks was clearing out his airplane hanger for a New Year's Eve party and while moving one of his antique planes he ran it down a grassy runway.

Flash Millwood, his friend of 35 years, said, "It was such a pretty day. So he took the airplane down to the end of the runway and did a little run-up on the engine to make sure everything was oiled. It just went end over end."

he made a full recovery however on February 1st 2006 he passed away from a heart attack.

Leave a comment

Comments