Brennan Poole Comes Close to Redemption with Talladega Top-Five

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

Driving the same paint scheme that he had when he nearly won at Talladega Superspeedway with Chip Ganassi Racing, Brennan Poole was in position once again to challenge for the victory.

Poole avoided the chaos in the No. 44 CW & Sons Infrastructure Chevrolet Camaro SS to be inside the top-10 in the second overtime restart. Remaining free of mistakes got the journeyman driver into the top-10 in the first place. Poole then translated that, with some help from Anthony Alfredo, into a chance at the checkered flag in the Ag-Pro 300.

“This year I’ve been having just a tremendous amount of fun and I’m really enjoying it,” Poole said. “We just got to keep executing man, keep having no mistakes and put ourselves in position for something good to happen like we did today, and we got a couple more of these so hopefully I can put the 44 car in Victory Lane.” 

The Alpha Prime Racing driver was being pushed by fellow Chevy Racing driver Alfredo. The No. 5 Chevrolet pushed Poole forward, up to the bumper of Jesse Love’s No. 2 Chevy. However, off Turn 4 the duo got separated. From that point on, Poole was playing defense.

With Alfredo on one side and Riley Herbst’s No. 98 Ford Mustang on the other, Poole was a sitting duck. He slipped back from challenging for the win to fifth by the time the NASCAR Xfinity Series field took the checkered flag.

“We didn’t have a lease motor this engine, this is an engine we own, it’s an ECR engine, but you know they have a lot more [horsepower] than we do,” Poole explained. “I mean it’s like not even close really. I needed to push from the No. 5.

“Anthony was pushing me great, and we had an awesome run. He shoved me all the way down the back, which was giving me enough to get to the No. 2. I was able to get a huge side draft. But really, I just needed the No. 5 to stay with me, to push me and I think I probably could have got to the line first and we got separated off (Turn) 4.

“At that point I was just looking at my mirror trying to defend. I had the 98 coming. I was trying to put myself in the best spot and I kind of hesitated him in between the 98 or the five. And they kind of got right on each side of my quarter. And I had to just hold my ground where I was, or we were going to get wrecked. So that was a fifth-place finish.”

What made the opportunity to challenge for the win more special for Poole was the paint scheme he was running. The Tommy Joe Martins-owned team ran a paint scheme identical to the one he took the checkered flag first in at Talladega in 2016. However, he was credited with a third place finish that day in 2016 because the caution had waved prior to Poole taking the checkered flag.

The underfunded, underdog team is challenging teams inside the top-12 in points. Having less horsepower, less resources than other teams, and to be 16th in points entering Talladega is a testament to the determination that Poole and his team have.

“[It’s] really wild to do that again and be that close with this paint scheme is pretty nuts,” Poole admitted. “It was a really fun day and so close. I really want to win one of these races and you know the way that we’re doing it on such a tight budget to be that close and to be in the top 20 as many times have you had this year to be 16th and the points headed into this weekend putting pressure on those top 12 guys.

“I think that’s a pretty big statement from me as a driver and from this race team, I mean Tommy Joe has been an incredible leader Frank Kerr and paying the engineer giving me incredible racecars that drive good. We’re just going to keep putting the pressure on those guys in the top 12 and when they make mistakes and they wreck out like today we’re going to be right there to pick up those points, and if they’re not too careful, we’re going to knock somebody out of the playoffs.” 

The fifth-place finish was Poole’s first top-five of the 2024 season and the 10th of his Xfinity career. It was his first top-five since Talladega last season.

The top-five finish moved Poole from a tie for 16th in points to a tie for 15th. The Woodlands, TX native is 176-points behind leader Chandler Smith and 43 below the playoff cutline, currently held by Ryan Sieg.

Next for the 32-year-old is the A-Game 200 at Dover Motor Speedway. In six starts at ‘The Monster Mile’ he has one top-five and two top-10 finishes.

The A-Game 200 at Dover Motor Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, April 27 at 1:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. The race will also be broadcast on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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