Through the years, Texas Motor Speedway has been kind to first-time winners, with the likes of Chase Elliott, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Erik Jones scoring their first career wins. Going into this weekend, Brennan Poole hopes to add his name to the list.
He will have momentum on his side, scoring back-to-back eighth place finishes the past two events, with no results outside of the top-20 since Daytona. The intermediate tracks appear to treat Poole well, with a pair of top-eight finishes at Kansas Speedway and Texas to close 2016, along with the eighth at Auto Club Speedway. The success is part of having built a great relationship with crew chief Chad Norris.
There’s also confidence at Chip Ganassi Racing right now after Kyle Larson led them to victory lane in California, scoring a podium in his three starts this year. Tyler Reddick has also ran up front in both his races, though finished 20th and 14th in his events.
The certainty for the Woodlands, Texas native is a far cry from when he started racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2015. There were concerns whether he was going to make it with only two top-10s in his first 17 starts. However, it appears that’s no longer a concern with eight top-10s in his last 15 events, and confidence a win is just around the corner.
“One of these weekends everything will come together, and it’ll be our weekend,” he told POPULAR SPEED last month. “I feel once it happens, it’ll be on from there. It’s just about finding those areas, working on them and improving. Like I sad, we have our goals, and now it’s all about executing.”
If Poole could capture his first victory this weekend, it’d mean a lot and help build confidence towards the future of his racing career.
“To be able to win for yourself to give you the confidence to be set to move up to the next level – Cup – as that’s where you want to get to eventually,” he said. “That’ll be the first step to getting there. You’re racing against some of the best in the entire world to try and get to the Cup Series, so certainly winning a race at this level puts your name in the hat to move forward.”
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