Story by: Langley Austin ~ langley@race22.com 

The Woodlands, TX ~ You’ve likely never heard of Brennan Poole(don’t worry I hadn’t either), but on Thursday, March 5, 2009 he entered the world of Late Model Stock Car racing and he’s hoping to be a future household name.

You may have noticed by the city listed at the beginning the story … ‘he’s not from around here’, but Poole is poised to make sure you, his competitors and all race fans know he’s here and here to stay. Let me introduce you to 17-year old, Brennan Poole;

Poole got started in quarter midgets at the age of five in California, then moved to Texas due to his father’s job and continued winning in the quarter midgets. He continued racing and became a National Champion in just a few short years then after nine-years of racing those cars he moved to the 600 Racing Legends cars.

Winning seemed to come easy and often for the talented young racer winning more than 20 races in Legends quickly and after meeting Josh Waring of Hurricane Racing the victories continued to come, but he wasn’t satisfied with just racing a Legends car. Poole then moved into and the car loosening up on him, he drove it deep into turn three and spun slamming the outside wall, destroying the rear end of the Fat Head Racing machine.

Poole had used up all his luck, he had earlier spun twice coming off turn two and then once on the front straightaway as he tried to get used to the car, but avoided contact then. Once he was used to the car, he got confident and as has happened to many of the greatest racers in all forms of motorsports, he lost control and tore his car up.

When the crash happened Yelton simply shrugged his shoulders and told Poole not to worry about it saying; ‘I’ve tore ’em up worse than that before’. Poole was certainly the Dirt Modifieds and Dirt Late Models around his home in Texas and continued winning and that road has led him to Fat Head Racing, Jamie Yelton’s Late Model Stock Car team.

Yelton, who has been successful in LMSC racing for many years now and recently launched a Driver Development team that Paddy Rodenbeck, Matt DiBenedetto, Thomas Hartensveld, Clay Greenfield and even NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, Steven Wallace competed in during the 2008 season. Yelton will now try and lead Poole into asphalt Late Model racing and help to develop his career.

“I think the kid’s got talent,” said Yelton. “He hit the track fast and was running competitive times with Dexter Canipe, Jr., who has as much experience here as anyone. That impressed me. That impressed all of the team and everyone who watched him.”

Yelton’s confidence was certainly high on Poole and his performance as the youngster hit the track for the first time in a full-size stock car. Confidence is something that Poole carries at all times, even when he’s frustrated with himself. Poole hit the track on Thursday, March 5, 2009 and turned in some impressive times, but that’s not the only thing he hit.

The young driver was certainly impressive … turning competitive laps right from the start and running very fast by the end of the day, but as Poole was making some of his final laps, practice got cut short. Poole running consistent 15.50 second laps with older tires on the car discouraged, but he didn’t let the crash ruin his day, he had run really strong and he knew it.

“It looks like we’re going to be pretty good, so I’m excited about it,” said Poole minutes after climbing from his crashed race car.

His confidence was high and his goals and expectations for this season are a sign of maturity in the young driver.

“I expect to win races, win the rookie of the year and our ultimate goal is to win the championship overall,” Poole said when asked what his expectations were for this season.

Poole is the real deal, Yelton thinks so and after what I saw on Thursday in his first time on the track … he made a believer out of me. With this being the highest compliment I can give the young driver, he reminds me of Matt DiBenedetto. The way he looks, the way he talks and the way he drives as well as the path he took to get here.

DiBenedetto started racing in California then moved to Legends cars and he made the jump to Late Model Stock Cars by going straight to the UARA-STARS tour like Poole will do this season … he’s quiet, he’s calm and he can drive a race car. DiBenedetto recently got picked up by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series super-team, Joe Gibbs Racing and who’s to say that taking a similar path won’t pay off for this young driver as well.

The best quote from Poole came when the voice recorder was turned off when I first was introduced to him, I asked him ‘so what brings you here?’ … to that he responded … “I’m going to NASCAR”. He didn’t say that he was trying to go, he said plain and simple he was going to NASCAR and his confidence got the best of me … I believe him and I think he’s going to make a believer out of a lot people this season.

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