One of FanIQ's Newest and Brightest - Matt Poole [NASCAR Spotlight]
This week, I'm going to change it up a little. If you pay attention to our newest members, you've undoubtedly noticed a new face on the Q. His name is Matt Poole, and he's already become quite active in the polls and threads, but what you may not know is that he is an aspiring race car driver, and he's good!
If it wasn't for andilee0388, I likely wouldn't know anything about Matt, but she sent me a picture, and so the story started. We sat down one evening with Matt and asked him every question we could think of. He was more than patient with us and the result is this article, written by me, but with at least half of the questions asked by Andi.
I'm a NASCAR nut, so I read everything. I even subscribe to a few racing magazines and with the stack I have, I couldn't locate the magazine where I read about Hickory Speedway, but I'm pretty sure that's where I heard of him first.
Matt is one of those true racers. He races for the glory of a win, yes, but he also races purely because he loves it. It's evident when you talk to him and it's evident when you talk to his fans. And yes, he does have fans. Quite a few of them, in fact.
What you might not know about Matt is that he isn't a teenager or even a 20 something foraging into the NASCAR scene at an early age after following his dad or grandad or uncle. Nope. Matt drove in his first race at 43 years young. Don't just count him out because of that though.
Let me start a little earlier in his life though.
Matt originally hails from Maryland where his dad had a friend who worked on engines for Richard Petty. Much like many of us diehard fans, he was always sneaking off to the track a couple of miles away just to experience the roar of the engines. It fueled a love for racing that just can't be denied. But as a young boy, merely ten years of age, he respected his mom's "You're crazy! You'll get killed!" and stayed out of the cars, much as he wanted to do otherwise.
Matt's life took a different path, but always in the back of his mind, was that desire to drive a race car. When his mom passed away suddenly in January of 2003, Matt needed something to fill the void and that's when the racing bug bit again. He spent some time in Mooresville working in a completely different area, but decided he needed to get in a race car. He knocked on doors, handed out business cards, sent letters, pounded the pavement, all to no avail.
Then he went to driving school - at Rockingham. Yes, the Rock. And that's where Matt began to shine. In his class of 19 racing students, Matt was oldest.......and fastest......by quite a bit. He wasn't just fastest on a lap, he was fastest in overall averages and had the fastest lap.
Still, it wasn't a race and he was quite a bit older than the rest of the field.
Matt despaired of ever reaching his dream and when even his best friend Tonya told him maybe it was time to hang up the steering wheel, he dreamed.