David Poole lived his dream

April, 28, 2009
David Poole walked into the media center Sunday at Talladega and I greeted him with a simple, "How's it going, brother?"

"Just livin' the dream, my man," Poole replied.

David lived his dream. The world of journalism was a far better place with him in it.

If you follow NASCAR, you know David Poole. He passed away Tuesday, leaving a giant void among those of us who cover the sport.

David was a columnist for The Charlotte Observer and a popular talk-show host on Sirius Radio. There was no one like him.

David could be gruff at times, but that was part of his charm. The man had an opinion on everything -- racing, basketball, politics, the weather, whatever.

David and I had a long conversation about the NFL draft Sunday before the race. He told me how the Seattle Seahawks made a great choice in Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry.

"You wait and see," David said. "He's a quality kid with great skills. He'll be the best defensive player on that team."

Pick any subject and David could make his point. The man should have been an attorney. No one was better at making an argument.

He also had a wonderful sarcastic wit. One of David's pet peeves was traffic at NASCAR events. He often referred to the spoke-and-wheel road system at Texas Motor Speedway as "the seven rings of hell."

TMS president Eddie Gossage had many spirited conversations with Poole over the years.

"David was a prolific voice in NASCAR," Gossage said. "The thing I liked about him was he would argue his point vociferously, but he had an open mind to understand your position. Even if he still disagreed, he conceded the validity of your point." More than anything else, David was a passionate journalist about NASCAR. He wasn't afraid to take the unpopular stance if he believed it was the right thing.

David called it the way he saw it, good or bad. But people respected him because whatever stance he took, his objective was to make the sport better.

He made a lot of people working in the sport better, also. David had a legendary temper, but he also had a heart of gold.

The one thing that I respected the most about David was the way he treated newcomers to the business.

Countless times I saw him talk to young writers about how to cover the sport. A novice reporter could ask him anything and David would give the no-bull answer.

David wasn't afraid to tell you if he thought you were wrong about something, but if you needed help, he'd be there every time.

David lived his dream. I will miss him greatly, as will everyone involved in NASCAR.

Terry Blount

ESPN Staff Writer



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