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Brian Rose’s Comeback! In His Own Words
Posted By Marty Tyler On February 7, 2011 @ 10:05 pm In ARCA,Racing Perspectives | No Comments
I was so pleasantly surprised and in the coming months got to see and know a side of Brian Rose that I doubt many reporters or fans were truly exposed to. So when the reports surfaced in 2003 that Brian had been suspended for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy I was so very sad for him, not because I was ashamed of him or felt he was beyond redemption. Rather I felt this sport had lost not only a great talent, but a genuinely nice young gun who could impact this sport in amazing ways.
In the following years I lost contact with him so I was thrilled to learn Brian would be running a handful of races this past racing season and decided to contact Brian recently. The interview was amazingly enjoyable, insightful and inspiring. His come back may just be one of the most important racing stories of the last decade in so many ways.
Drug use and/or abuse has affected, potentially 100% of today’s US families, either personally, or indirectly through family members or close family friends. I asked him if he would mind talking to our readers about that issue and what led him to turn his life around.
“Well, …(when) I was arrested in ’03 for driving under the influence, I had just reached a point in my life where I wasn’t really making good decisions day in and day out. My family was having financial trouble and my Mother and Father had gotten a divorce. A lot of people could say that at 19 or 20 there’s such a maturity and I was very mature as an individual. I was very presentable. I was very marketable. I had all the right qualities but I wasn’t really mature in how to deal with things on a professional level or being able to handle the success and failures that go hand in hand. I just wasn’t there mentally in making the right decisions. I lived more of a Tim Richmond, wild, drink beer and stay out all night and have fun, more of the rock star life style versus a driver who trains and is in the gym every day.”
“The transition probably would have never came about if I hadn’t been arrested. When I was arrested in 2003 I sat in an inpatient facility for alcohol and drug abuse and my first child was born while I was inpatient. Addiction as a whole or behavior that is associated with it never really comes to a breaking point unless something traumatic happens. Some people, unfortunately, have to experience killing somebody in a car wreck or they have to experience the overdosing of a close family member. Everybody has a different, what they call a bottom, where they bottom out and what they consider the breaking point in their life where they say, ‘ ok , I’m going to battle this, I’m going to control my own life and not let my life run out of control and (I’m going to) be successful and be who I want to be and this is the type of effort I am going to put forth in doing so.’ Really to me reaching that breaking point in my own life, to be able to make those decisions was on September 12, 2003 and here it is 7 years later. I am able to look back and remember the pain, the hurt, the anguish and frustration that I caused back then which is what keeps me focused and determined today because I know how good I could have been and should have been and the successes and longevity in NASCAR that I should have had at a very early age.”
“When I started to drive all the sponsors were looking for Earnhardt, Petty or Mark Martin. You had to be this super veteran driver that had all the history and wins to (get that) sponsor. And about 3 or 4 years after I was gone if you weren’t 16 years old and turning 18 tomorrow they wouldn’t sponsor you, so I was on the cusp of a new era in NASCAR as far as the demographic of what sponsors were looking for. It’s not that the expectations were too high. They were in line with what was to be expected. I just wasn’t at the maturity point to make decisions that would respect those.”
“I’m not one to shy away from the truth. The way it is is the way it is. I was a young kid who made bad decisions. I could have been part of the next generation of drivers. I had all the opportunities and I screwed it up along the way. I (now) find myself 30 years old, married with 3 kids. I look back and watch NASCAR on the weekends and say, hey, I’ve got a small window here if I want to do this and do this successfully and competitively, I feel that with my relationships and my ability for marketing, if anyone can put funds together to race competitively then I know both ends of it. I think I can bridge that gap with teams that are out there, or forming my own personnel and team with the sponsor dollars that it takes to race. There are not a lot of companies out there right now just writing checks. It’s a lot of cross marketing, trading out services for exposure and being able to turn those in to money.”
Having completed all that NASCAR required of him, Rose was cleared to race last season, is ready to acknowledge that part of his life, put that firmly in his past and concentrate on what his future may hold, hoping that includes racing at the top levels. In 2010 he ran a very limited schedule in the Camping World Truck Series which included Kansas with Rick Ware, and Iowa and Texas with Danny Gill. That was Rose’s chance to reacquaint himself with people he had worked with in the past including the car builders, engine builders, crew chiefs, etc. The reception went very well according to him.
“This is such a team sport, much more so than 95 percent of people realize.” he explained. “It’s all about the work done at the shop, the preparation of the engineers and crew chiefs in today’s age. That’s where races are won. I was able to hook back up with Danny Rollins who was my Crew Chief at Bobby Hamilton Racing. Danny is a very special guy in my life, a real friend and (for now) we’re actually just enjoying racing and not getting caught up in 30 some races and being gone away from home full time. He has a little boy, Brody, who just turned 1 and I’ve got 3 kids now. My oldest is Olivia who just turned 7, my middle is Savvy, she’s 4 and Davis is 2.”
“What we’ve decided to do in 2011 is go to the first ARCA race of the year at Daytona with our own team. We did well at Daytona. Our No. 4 Harris Trucking / Team ASE Toyota Camry posted the second-fastest time during the final drafting session on Thursday afternoon in 48.664 seconds. That was 184.942 miles per hour. We’re going to work on our piece and try to have something special. Danny and I are motivated to win because we knew we should have won the truck race there 8 years ago but the boss man, Bobby, asked me to stay right where I was and to push my teammate to victory so that is what we did. Looking back on it now, Danny and I both are kicking ourselves in the butt, so we’re going down to Daytona and win the ARCA race. We’re going to go down there for fun. We’re going to run some truck stuff, run a Nationwide race or two, maybe run the second Talladega race along with a hand full of other ARCA races. We’re not going to be committed to any points chase or any division, but, when we show up at any track we are looking to be competitive to win. By the time Daytona rolls around I think we’ll be in a very competitive mode. That will take us through the first couple of months and then we’ll sit down and see what late model, and what the first truck and Nationwide race we’re going to run. We’re just going to put it out there and release what our race dates are going to be.”
“You know, God works in mysterious ways. The date I decided to change my life was September 12, 2003, as I said. That following month my daughter was born about 5 hours before my birthday when I was in the inpatient facility. Fast forward 5 years later. My son was born on September 12th, 2008. So 5 years later, to the day that I changed my life, I had my baby boy. It’s kind of weird how things come full circle in life. I have 3 precious kids, married my wife who is very supportive of me. We were together when I drove for Hamilton. She stuck it out with me. She’s put up with a lot of stuff. She’s a good person and probably my biggest fan to date.”
“I really feel like people can relate to my story. A lot of adolescents and parents deal with these issues at home. Some parents are alcoholics. Some kids run wild at school. Unfortunately these problems have become such a part of our society and this is something, as a whole, that we have to learn to deal with. I’ve got a business now with 60 employees and I deal with it as much as anybody on a daily basis, keeping everybody on their toes as far as drug and urine screens and that’s just the way it is anymore.”
Brian’s doing well with his businesses which include 2 internet companies that will stream live on demand events via the internet which can be downloaded to your television. He also has a coal company. Their first mining permit is pending. It is located in eastern Kentucky between Virginia, North Carolina and eastern Kentucky which will allow easy access for a late model or Pro Cup racing weekend in North Carolina or Virginia. It also affords easy access to motors, parts and other things needed to build their ARCA cars and Camping World Trucks.
There’s a maturity in Brian that is so genuine and refreshing which is coupled with truthfulness and accountability. His dedication remains as strong as ever and his goals are realistic and attainable. I genuinely hope he is able to realize all of those goals. He has done what many people would have believed to be impossible, having completed everything NASCAR has required of him. Brian Rose is BACK!
In today’s world of racing fans, many choose a driver based on a family name, a volatile attitude or any number of other reasons, all of which are perfectly fine. However, choosing this young man as a racing favorite can prove to be an investment of support in a person who represents success on much more than a track level. Brian has battled some of the biggest adversaries in life and won! He is a winner in every sense of the word. I have always felt this racer has a great deal to offer this sport, and the potential impact Brian can afford any sponsors, veteran drivers and newcomers is possibly greater than ever before. I truly wish him the very best of success. He deserves it. I know I’m pulling for him.
I want to thank my good friend Chris Knight of Knight Motorsports Management & Assistant News Director at Catchfence.com for his assistance. Chris will be working with Brian in the coming season, so, for more information on Brian contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
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