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David Poole will be greatly missed

By admin | April 28, 2009

By Richard Allen

I was driving home from my real job on Tuesday listening to a Knoxville area sports talk radio station. I had the windows down and was enjoying life.

Suddenly, my day was darkened. The announcer stopped in mid-topic to announce he had just received word that NASCAR columnist David Poole had passed away of a heart attack at the age of 50. I am usually glad when they talk NASCAR, but not this time.

As I said, I was on my way home from my real job as a high school history teacher. Even though I write a NASCAR column for The Mountain Press, a small town newspaper in Tennessee, and I maintain this website, I do not consider myself a NASCAR writer. This is just something I do for enjoyment.

David Poole was indeed a real NASCAR writer. He reported stories in a way that made the people and events seem real and meaningful. He wrote columns that expressed what he really thought. He was not afraid to call it as he saw it, even if it would not necessarily be popular with fans, drivers, NASCAR or anyone else.

A few years ago, before the internet became such a common tool and made information so accessible, I used to look forward to driving or flying through the Charlotte area so I could buy a copy of The Charlotte Observer and read a column written by David Poole. With the proliferation of the internet, Poole’s That’sRacin.com was one of the very first sites I bookmarked.

When I decided to give writing a try myself, it was Poole among others who I tried to emulate.

Over the last couple of years I have corresponded with Mr. Poole by e-mail and through our Facebook association. Even though I was only the writer for a small town newspaper, he always responded to questions and comments of mine promptly and with respect.

I also had the opportunity to meet him twice at the annual National Motorsports Press Association meetings. He was a every bit a gentleman.

I for one will miss his insights and his style. I do not believe I will be alone in that regard.

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One Response to “David Poole will be greatly missed”

  1. jim phillips Says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Rich,
    I worked with David for many years, and had the upmost respect for his ability to see the entire picture, and not write on a soap box…I first thought when Tom Higgins retired the Observer was in trouble, because no one knew the sport like Tom, but David stepped in and never missed a beat…He often came to Winston Kelly and I to ask our opinion on an issue especially if was a techinal issue with the cars because, he knew i had worked on race cars in the past….He was also a very humorous guy…..I’ll sure miss David the person and his columns….

    thanks,
    Jim Phillips
    MRN Radio