VIRGIL "CHUCK" BROOKS
1937 – 1995

 

 

Chuck Brooks of Winfield, Kansas with the Ford he drove at Winfield in 1967 owned by his brother, Bud Brooks of Wichita, Kansas – Lou Steward collection

 

 

 

 

Wichita Eagle

June 24, 1965

 

Rollovers Plentiful at 81

But Fires Vary Rare

By Cliff Forrest

Eagle Sports Writer

          Rollovers have been plentiful at 81 Speedway this season.  Ten stockers have rolled to date this season.  Cliff Booker, George Antwine, Chuck Brooks, Dwayne Cox, John DeBacker, Jack Coleman, Jim Grantham, Gene Kerstline, Chuck Owens, and Ralph Shaver have all gone through the ordeal.

          Owens’ accelerator stuck and he “couldn’t make the curve doing 75-miles-per-hour”.  He was the only semi-late model car driver to receive injuries.  “When my seat gave way, I couldn’t brace myself”, he said.  Owens received back and other injuries when he was thrown from the car and pinned under it Saturday.

          Brooks spun and rolled going into the third turn and rolled “a good 100 feet”, loosing his engine and gas tank.  His car was the first at 81 this season to catch fire after rolling but he escaped untouched.  “Roll bars were the main factor that prevented injury” he explained.

          Grantham broke a wheel both times he rolled.  Roll bars and seat belts prevented his being injured.

          “The dirt banks catch you and there is nothing you can do” according to DeBacker who hit the bank and was flipped up over the fence between the track and the grandstands.  “If you have ever ridden a rock-o-plane, you can get the feeling of the rolling over but it is just a little rougher when you stop” he stated.  He received no injuries but said, “The shoulder harness holds you so tight that the force of the landing puts an awful lot of pressure on your neck.”

          Fires are a rarity at 81 due to the rigid rules and safety precautions such as fire walls between the driver and the engine and the gas tank.

          Cox does not really know what made him roll but he thinks his drive shaft dropped and dug into the clay surface.

          Other preventive measures besides seat belts and roll bars are taken by keeping fire extinguishers, an ambulance, wreckers, and a cutting torch in the pits ready for use.

          Bill Hall, track director, feels real fortunate that no more injuries have been received to drivers.

 

 

 

Bud Brooks with a 1956 Chevrolet that he built for Chuck Brooks to race in 1971.  Click your mouse on the photo above to see a photo of the other side of the car – LeRoy Brooks collection

 

 

 

 

Ernest Claude "Bud" Brooks
1931 - 1981

 

 

 

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