The passing of David Poole Tuesday marked the end of an era. I honestly don’t know what this means for the future of the motorsports press.
Sure there are a lot of motorsports journalists, but none like David. Whether you loved him or hated him, I guarantee you respected him.
I remember a couple of years ago when Dale Jr. was announcing he was leaving DEI for Hendrick Motorsports, David was there with some associate (I can’t remember who it was). During the press conference David’s associate got up, said his name, and said I’m with David Poole. Everyone laughed and the gentleman asked his question; but this story illustrates something about David. Being associated with him gave you legitimacy.
Now don’t get me wrong, David wasn’t always the most easy person to deal with. He was notorious for complaining about parking. David didn’t like parking far away from things (who does?). I recall talking to a PR person with a team some time back and this person was telling me about David’s complaints that he was not given parking near the team’s building during an event. This too illustrates something about him. He could afford to complain. Most of us would get laughed at.
As a journalist, I think David was second to none. His reporting was always fair and always accurate. This is not to say David didn’t have opinions and boy did we see them sometimes.
I remember at the Pit Crew Challenge last year, David was not in a good mood. When I got home that evening I saw his semi-live blogging from the event. I can tell y0u at the time I wasn’t impressed with it, so much so I wrote post about it on TNI. Only he could get away with calling scantily-clad young ladies ‘SPEED hoochies.’
From here on out things are going to be different and I can honestly say I don’t think that is a good thing. I think he is leaving a void that no one can hope to fill. There is not a journalist in the garage today who has the power, the voice and the respect David had.
I wrote a post about the future of motorsports journalism last week and I talked about the prospect of McClatchy eliminating that full-time motorsports post. It will be interesting to see in the days and weeks moving forward if they assign that post to Jim Utter or someone else.
Whatever the case, this is a sad day for the world of motorsports. I send my condolences to David’s family and friends. He will, without a doubt, be missed for a long time to come.
**Make sure to check out Monte Dutton’s emotional tribute to David Poole.**
**Ask the Insiders Wednesday will be moved to Thursday this week. If you still have any questions feel free to send them our way.**