They call Brennan Poole, “The Bull,” a fitting analogy given his gritty, hard-nosed path to NASCAR.
Despite a resume that reveals numerous victories and championships in ARCA and Late Models, Poole is not tied down to a driver development contract nor is he mentioned in any of the annual top prospect rankings.
But make no mistake, Poole is the real deal and he has the opportunity to make a huge splash on Saturday when he makes his XFINITY Series debut for HScott Motorsports at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Despite his best efforts to remain in Stock Car racing, Poole has struggled to stay in the public spotlight and maintain seat time. He hasn’t had a full-time ride in several seasons and has taken a variety of odd jobs in racing just to stay in the sport and earn one-off opportunities.
“The last couple of years has been tough,” Poole said. “I’ve been fighting to stay in the sport. I was a spotter the last couple of years and a driver coach at Venturini Motorsports, driving whenever I could.
“This is my dream, to race in the Sprint Cup Series and win races and championships, and this is just part of that dream coming true. To finally get that break and move up to this level, it’s incredible.”
Poole, 24, will drive the No. 42 DC Solar Solutions Chevrolet in 15 races this season, sharing that ride with Sprint Cup regular Kyle Larson. Like many young guns, Poole grew up wanting to race against the elite of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Given the crossover and synergy between Sprint Cup and XFINITY, Poole’s dream is seemingly set to come true.
“I’m still in shock that I’m getting to do this,” Poole said. “My whole life, all I wanted to do (is this.) You grow up and you see all these guys on the track like Kevin Harvick, Dale Jr. and Kyle Busch … and I’m just like, ‘if I can be on the track with those guys, how cool would that be?’
“It would be so awesome. To be here today, that’s truly amazing. I’m ready to go and I’m excited.”
His laid back California demeanor and everyman work ethic has made him a popular and respected figure in the garage. Current Camping World Truck Series driver Justin Boston was his teammate for two years at Venturini and offered nothing but praise and support for his former stablemate.
“I can’t think of many others who are as overdue as Brennan,” Boston said. “He has put in a lot of work to get this opportunity and I couldn’t be more pumped for him. I’ve been very fortunate to race and work with Brennan over the past few years, and he definitely is the type of guy that races you hard but races you clean at the same time.”
As a result, Boston says he will be pulling for “The Bull” on Saturday afternoon.
“I definitely won’t be surprised to see him running up front. He has been ready for this for a few years now and I’ll have my Bull shirt on for him.”
Posting results despite driving on short notice or limited seat time is nothing new for Poole. Back in 2011, he won his first ARCA race in his first start at Salem and has continued to impress despite only running in a handful of races per season.
As a result, don’t be surprised to see Poole running near the front in the closing stages on Saturday.
ARCA radio broadcaster Charles Krall has witnessed a significant portion of Poole’s career and says best attribute is his inherent ability to adapt to any situation tossed his direction.
“Short track, dirt track, superspeedway, it doesn’t matter,” Krall said. “Brennan is able to quickly adapt to whatever situation and find himself at the front of the field. And what is most impressive is that he has done it without a solid ride the past couple of years.
“To be able to climb into a car on short notice and perform at a high level is something not all drivers can do. It’s no surprise that he’s finally landed a NASCAR ride. The only surprise is that it didn’t happen sooner.”
Despite all the adversity, Poole says he’s enjoyed his journey to NASCAR even if it wasn’t the most linear path.
“It’s been a lot of fun and I’m fortunate to be here,” Poole said. “This is a part of my dream coming true and there is still a ways to go. I still have to perform but I have a bunch of great guys around me, great owners, and I just want to go out there and it get it done for them.”
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