Having just completed his first full season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in which he garnered in an impressive four top-fives and 17 top-tens, Brennan Poole is more confident than ever to begin the new season.
“I have a better understanding of what I need out of my racecars and out of my team. I’ll kind of lead them in the direction to give us the best racecar,” Poole said.
The Woodlands, Texas, native will be driving the No. 48 Chevy for Chip Ganassi Racing once again this year, alongside teammate Kyle Larson who drives the No. 42 Chevy. Poole says that Larson, who competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, has a mentor for him.
“He’s been a great teammate the last couple of years and helped me step my learning curve up,” he said. “I’m at a point now where I can run in the top five. I was a top-10 car at the end of the year every week and Kyle helped me a lot.”
This season, Poole will be gaining a new teammate with CGR’s addition of Tyler Reddick, who will be sharing the No. 42 Camaro in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with Larson. Reddick spent the last two years in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driving for Brad Keselowski Racing.
“Tyler has proven he can win at the truck level. I certainly believe he is going to have speed in the XFINITY Series. I think he’ll be a great teammate to lean on throughout the year,” Poole added.
Along with changes within the team, there are changes in the sport with the new “enhancements”, which include breaking the race into stages. Poole mentioned the key to winning the stages will be maintaining aggression on the track at all times.
“I think a lot of the crew chiefs will struggle trying to figure out how these stages will break down. If you get a caution in the middle of a stage, do you pit or do you keep your track position? What do you do? I think that’s going to mix it up and you’re going to have to make some aggressive decisions at times to win one of the stages,” he explained.
Although his focus at the moment is geared towards running well and winning as much as possible this year in the XFINITY Series, Poole says that he would still love to make the leap into Cup racing.
“When I feel like I’ve earned that right to move forward,” Poole said. “Obviously it’s my dream and hopefully I’ll make that jump.”
Poole will kick off his season competing in the Powershares 300 in Daytona next Saturday, and though it’s too early to tell who will be the drivers to watch this year, Poole is confident in what he and the No. 48 team can do.
“I really think we’ll put ourselves in position to win some of these stages and get some bonus points and also get ourselves in a position to battle for a championship at Homestead.”