In January, NASCAR Xfinity first-timer Brennan Poole didn’t know if he’d ever sit in a race car again. The 22-year-old from The Woodlands scratched and clawed to keep his dreams alive the past two years, working every job imaginable in a NASCAR garage.
When he did have a chance to race, he thrived becoming the winningest driver in the ARCA series. His last victory, in Kentucky in September, happened to be the most timely. The right people were watching, including officials at Chip Ganassi Racing, which offered him a part-time schedule at HScott Motorsports.
Poole, who finished ninth in his debut in Las Vegas a month ago, and his No. 42 make their debut on the big track at TMS on Friday for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300.
You had no idea as of January what’d you be doing this year, is that right? No idea. It’s just a God thing. I was in shock that someone like this would be willing to give me a shot. I’m blessed to be a part of this. I still have one step to go. I want to race on Sundays.
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How did your experience getting here make you a better driver? I was doing a lot of film, so I was watching a lot of these guys … studied how the races unfolded. The last couple of years really humbled me but made me who I am as a race car driver today.
Where do you see yourself in five years? To be a Cup driver with a good team and competing for championships. I feel real fortunate to just be doing what I’m doing now. I just want to learn as much as I can and better myself as a driver. I’ve only run two races, so I’m a little behind [as far as experience] in the car. I couldn’t be in a better place.
O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 defending spring champion Chase Elliott spent part of his Thursday morning with Carroll Peaks Elementary School in Fort Worth talking with students as part of an assembly to award fifth-grader America Perez the top prize in a design contest coordinated by Lionel Racing and TMS’s Speeding to Read. Perez’s paint design of a miniature race car was judged the best among 2,000 entries around the area.
“That is kind of the running joke with [TMS president] Eddie Gossage: ‘Is Victory Lane open on Sunday, too?”
— NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick, who has won six times at TMS on the Xfinity and Craftsman World Camping Trucks series but never in Sprint Cup.