Poole eliminated from advancing in playoffs following early accident

Russell LaBounty/NKPPhoto

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

The dream of racing for a championship in the NASCAR XFINITY Series was dashed early in the Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix Raceway for Brennan Poole and his No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing team.

Going into the weekend at Phoenix, Poole was ranked fourth in the standings, just five points above the cutoff line. The goal for Poole throughout the day was to gain as many stage points as possible to stay above the cutoff line.

While racing with Cole Custer and Daniel Hemric for position, Poole made contact with Caesar Baracarella going into the first turn on lap 24. Poole had a tire go down, which quickly sent him into the wall. Poole was able to limp his Chevrolet to the pit lane.

Poole told the crew that their day was done, but the attempted to work on the car. The crew attempted to repair the car before their five minutes were up on the damaged vehicle policy. Poole had to meet minimum speed under green flag conditions for the time on the clock to reset to zero. As Poole was trying to catch up with the field, he made more contact with the wall, which ultimately ended their day and shot for a championship.

“I saw the 8 car (Bacarella) go in and we were going to kinda go to the top to go around him and he slid up so I tried to go to the bottom,” Poole told NBC. “Bad luck, bad circumstances. I guess I could have been a little more cautious there, but just trying to get up there to get some stage points and keep moving forward. Our car was actually pretty good. Just a bummer. I don’t know what else to say.”

Poole was regulated with a 34th place finish at Phoenix.

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