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RIP David Poole

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by playthrough, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member


    I am privileged to read this.
  2. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    It's no secret that I am not the biggest fan of JoePo's work, but that was phenomenal.
  3. Rough Mix

    Rough Mix Guest

    I always respected the postions he took. I never met the man during my time in the garage area, but as others have said, I wish I had.

  4. Matt1735

    Matt1735 Well-Known Member

    JoePo hit a home run with that tribute. Wow.
  5. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Not sure if this has already been linked, but it's worth another one.


    Never met the guy, but I am extremely saddened by his death.
  6. Pete Williams

    Pete Williams New Member

    I was only a casual NASCAR follower when I got a freelance editing job in 2001 working on David's book RACE WITH DESTINY, which chronicled the 1992 NASCAR season through exhaustive reporting and interviews with those who worked with Alan Kulwicki and Davey Allison. It's a great read, even more impressive since it covers a period before David was on the beat. The book was the first (and only) one I edited and it was an easy gig since David's copy was clean and easy to follow, even for a non-gearhead. For those of us who can't even change our oil, David managed to break down technical terms and make the sport compelling across all media platforms -- for fans of all ages. My six-year-old son, who has become a huge NASCAR fan since seeing Disney's Cars, loved listening to "that guy" on Sirius NASCAR Radio every morning on the way to school. He learned more about NASCAR from David during those 20-minute trips than I could ever hope to explain.
  7. hacksaw2828

    hacksaw2828 Member

    This is going to be one awful week at Richmond and I am not even going to be in the media center. I am going to be sitting in the stands. The only person in the sport that is more recognized than David is Barney Hall and that's cause he's been around forever. But think about that for a second. David did in a matter of 15 years what it has taken Barney Hall forever to do. And that is be the voice of the sport. Says a lot about the person. Even though I only got to go to the track a couple of times a year while I was covering motorsports for various papers in Richmond and Petersburg, that really was what I looked forward to more than anything was hearing the stories Poole, Monte, Hank, Nate, Mike Harris and all the other people could tell. Some people you could listen to all night and Poole was one of them. I always thought his pressroom rants on deadline were hilarious and helped ease the tension of deadline. But one thing we should all take from this is that it really isn't important to write the perfect story all the time. It's about having fun at what you do. And you could tell David thrived in that environment. Even though I am out of the business right now and working for the government, I still wish and always have wished that I could land a cool job like he had. I may never get the chance to chase my dream of writing about NASCAR full-time but at least I can say I lived the dream a couple of times a year. And most of the stories I tell will be about Poole. He was 10 times a better writer than I could ever be and is far better than anybody on this board. That's why he had the job he did. He earned it. End of story.
  8. CarltonBanks

    CarltonBanks New Member

    David was an outstanding journalist and a great person. Though we didn't see eye-to-eye politically I will forever cherish the time I got to spend with him a couple times a year in the media center of Rockingham Dragway at the IHRA races there. David set the bar for motor sports journalism. He will be greatly missed.
  9. sgaleadfoot

    sgaleadfoot Member

    Without question, David set the bar for many covering motorsports to follow. He was one of the people that inspired me to chase the dream covering racing full-time.

    In case anybody hasn't seen it, NASCAR's Ramsey Poston posted this on his facebook page:

    Ramsey Poston wrote a very eloquent and personal eulogy for David Poole on his Facebook page. I thought it was something that should be shared to everyone at this forum.

    After years of providing topics for David Poole to write, I now have the unfortunate opportunity to write about David Poole. He was the unofficial Dean of NASCAR’s Press Corps. He was grumpy, opinionated, smart, suspicious, consistent, honest, fair, temperamental ¬– and dedicated.

    He’d raise hell about the stacks of tires outside the Richmond media center; once he even yelled at NASCAR PR because engines on a dyno after a race were making too much noise. He’d bark at other reporters who talked too loudly in the media center. He’d chastise young reporters for asking what he considered to be pretentious questions. And when he started a question with “I just want to know…” well, you knew you were in trouble.

    Boy, we had some knock down drag-outs. Sometimes the subject was policy-oriented; other times it was trivial. Either way, his passion and determination to make his point never waned.

    But we also worked together on several issues. David was an important sounding board as I developed recommendations for setting up the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction process. He also wanted to know every detail about the NASCAR Foundation; he combed through public reports until he was satisfied that it was serving a purpose and provided important ideas and input. He was interested in greater diversity in NASCAR and asked a lot of tough questions about our initiatives. But he also generously covered up-and-coming diversity drivers and had them on the air on SIRIUS and featured in the Charlotte Observer.

    David loved the history of NASCAR not because he was a fan, but because it was his job. He was what a reporter was supposed to be, questioning everything. He considered himself the sport’s watchdog. Sometimes he agreed with the decisions NASCAR made. Many, many times he did not – and he let us know.

    One way to lose his respect was to waste his time. A couple of years ago, a rookie driver was supposed to meet David early one morning and never showed. I caught David on his way back to the media center, and he was in full rant. He explained what happened and said, “That’s it for him. I will not write a single word about him unless it's absolutely relevant to a race story. I’m not here for my enjoyment; this is my job!”

    He was fiercely independent – something he wanted everyone to know. A couple of years ago, I was in my car headed to work and tuned into The Morning Drive on SIRIUS. Apparently, someone suggested that David was somehow in NASCAR’s pocket. (How anyone could suggest that is beyond me.) To dispute that, he said “God almighty, I argue with Ramsey Poston more than I argue with my wife.” I later sent him an e-mail telling him I’d be in therapy for years to come!

    Getting David to alter his position was possible but hardly easy. The Saturday night before this year's Las Vegas race, we went to dinner with several media members and some of the NASCAR PR team. He was sitting next to Mike Forde, who is NASCAR’s stat guy and very passionate about Loop Data. David wasn’t a fan and just didn’t get Loop Data. I knew this and of course, lit the fuse between the two. David went on what must have been a 45-minute diatribe on why he thought Loop Data, and especially the Driver Rating, didn’t make sense to him. Poor Mike Forde took a verbal beating, but he hung in there and continued trying to explain the number. Red-faced, David ended the discussion and found something else to discuss. The odd thing? A couple of weeks later, David used Driver Rating in a story – a remarkable turnaround.

    David thought of himself as the sport’s “Public Defender.” He gave NASCAR plenty of unsolicited “suggestions.” He had recommendations about the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the race schedule, realignment, safety, rules and how to deal with competitors that violate the rules (let’s just say on this point, he took the extreme position).

    He made sure that NASCAR followed the rules in detail. My last communication with David was Monday night:

    At 8:43, he sent the following note:
    Somebody called and said there was not a caution flag thrown at the end of Sunday's race. That on the last lap, everybody behind third and fourth place raced to the line under green. Is that true?”

    I did some research and at 10:06 responded with:
    “Not exactly true – The caution was displayed but some cars had already passed over the start/finish line from the reaction time, and the remaining cars were frozen.”

    Four minutes later, David responded:
    “10-4. I checked the video. Thanks.”

    So, think about that. Twenty four hours after the race, he was digging into a tip he got from a caller. Did he just wait for my response? No way. He was watching videotape to verify it!

    David and I were primarily work colleagues and didn’t get much into each other’s personal lives. Occasionally, we’d discuss politics or current events, but usually it was NASCAR-related. Recently, he changed his Facebook profile photo to a photo of his grandson Eli. Soon after he was born, we were in the Lowe’s Motor Speedway media center, and I asked how Eli was doing. David quipped, “I’m working to get him his first taste of barbecue as quick as I can.” I always liked that.

    David will be missed – and remembered. The NASCAR media centers won’t be the same.

    My condolences to the Poole family.
  10. What he said.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  11. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Speaking of media centers, how was Richmond without Poole?
  12. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Quiet. Except I stopped through, so not for that hour.

    They had put a "reserved for David Poole" placard at his seat, and hung one of the announcements from his service. It was really touching, but I can't imagine how Jim Utter, Jenna Fryer, Hank Kurz or anyone else worked around it. Just still so sad.
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