know, a man’s only as good as his work.”
Brooks started his company in 2001, and for awhile he worked out of his home. He then relocated several times in the years before buying the old Cape Cod Furniture Carpet store on Conowingo Road.
He drew parallels between Earnhardt and himself at that age, right around when he was getting R. Brooks off the ground.
“My lifestyle and his lifestyle are totally two different things,” Brooks said. “[But in terms of] hard work and devotion and dedication and wanting to be the best of your ability at what you do, from what I know of him, I think we both strive for the best. You’re not going to stop until you become the best.”
Earnhardt said he believes he is still some years away from his best — he “ain’t winning races every weekend yet.”
And as Brooks himself noted, the expectations surrounding the two as they grew up were very different. Earnhardt started racing at 14, after two years of begging his father and eventually finding a car and sponsors on his own.
“He had no choice but to let me go race,” he said.
But when the younger Earnhardt got to the racetrack, he was met almost immediately with the expectations that continue to trail him today. The fellow youth racers would see him and assume he would come out on top, for no reason other than his lineage. Of course, it wasn’t that easy, and he developed an acute relationship with hard work and practice because of it. He knew he’d have nothing handed to him.
Heading into the final lap of this Spring Cup Series season, Earnhardt is sitting at No. 41 in the standings, with 15 starts and 99 points overall. He’s the first to admit he has a ways to go before he meets the expectations of his last name.
NASCAR is a peculiar sport though, with many factors contributing to a driver’s success, raw talent being just one. And as evidenced by his grandfather, Dale Sr., who died from a mid-race crash in 2001, things can go very wrong at the flip of a switch.
This newest Earnhardt to the NASCAR scene hopes to edge his way up the standings each season, with dreams of eventually competing for a crown. He feels he is still some years from his potential.
If the recent partnership is extended, R. Brooks Mechanical could be with him every lap of the way.