During the Florida Governor’s Cup at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) on Sunday, November 9, veteran technical inspector Ricky Brooks was struck by a race car on pit road. The incident hasn’t slowed down Brooks, as he was back at a racetrack by Wednesday, November 13 doing what he loves despite minor injuries sustained in the incident.
Brooks spoke with Speed51 on “The Morning Bullring” to discuss his injuries and recovery from the New Smyrna incident and the busy schedule he is maintaining as he moves forward from the event.
“I’m just sore. I’m doing really good,” said Brooks. “Nothing’s broken. I’m home resting now. Once I get off these crutches, I’ll be fine.
“It’s healing. It’s itching, the road rash. My spleen is bruised. That soft tissue bruising to the shoulder and the leg, that’s what is keeping me from walking.”
Brooks returned to the racetrack on Wednesday, fulfilling his duties with the Trans Am Series for their season finale at Daytona International Speedway (FL).
“I went and ran it in a wheelchair. I was at the Trans-Am race Wednesday through Saturday, went to the banquet, and then yesterday I took the day off.”
Brooks will head to Five Flags Speedway (FL) for the 52ndAnnual Snowball Derby presented by BJ’s Wholesale Club on December 4 – 8, 2019. Brooks has long presided over technical inspection for the Super Late Model crown jewel, and he expects a smoothly officiated event this year.
“The staff is going to be the same staff I’ve had at the Snowball, so there’s not going to be a learning curve. Everybody still works together periodically during the year, so I don’t see any issues with that. We’ve streamlined tech, so everything should go very smooth down there.”
Brooks has long carried a reputation as an uncompromising inspector. While he still believes in maintaining a level playing field across the board, his various experiences in past seasons have broadened his perspective.
“We’ve still got to have rules and it’s got to be that way, but it can be handled a whole lot differently. Over the last three or four years, working with the SRL, working with Trans-Am. The Trans-Am is a little bit different, there’s no big prize money like there is in short track racing.
“I can still get the job done and be a tough tech man, but the racers are our customers, and everybody’s got to have fun when they get to the race track. I think that’s something a lot of promoters have forgotten. Everybody there can spend their money somewhere else.
Brooks will be at another track this weekend as the technical director for the Spears SRL Southwest Series. That Super Late Model series concludes its season on Saturday, November 23 at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (NV).
“I’m leaving tomorrow and going to Vegas for the last SRL race at the Bullring. I’m taking a couple of extra days out there that was planned before all this happened. I don’t have anything planned the week of Thanksgiving, so that’ll be the rest week.
“The season out west has been great. We’ve had record car-counts all year, and it’s looking that way for the race coming up. The racers out west are great. Pretty much every race I go to, I have minimal problems. It’s a great series.”
Fans who missed Brooks’ interview can click here to see an on-demand replay of “The Morning Bullring.” The show traditionally airs at 7 a.m. ET on Speed51 and Speed51’s Facebook Feed presented by Five Star Race Car Bodies, but will take a Thanksgiving break next week, returning for an on-location episode at Five Flags Speedway (FL) on Monday, December 2 in the build-up to the Snowball Derby. Stay tuned for more details of that episode.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 photo