The End of an Era

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.**

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8 Responses to “The End of an Era”

  1. Karah-Leigh says:

    I so agree journo. There will be no one who can fill the void that David has left. He was one of my journalism heroes. It’s odd that today, when I talked about writing about NASCAR now that I’m graduating, this happened.

    He will be missed and I’m glad I got the opportunity to speak with him on SIRIUS a few times.

    Now I need to go check out this journalism post… I somehow missed it!

  2. Kendria says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and grief with us. For me as a fan I will miss his reporting. And yes, I can see how he can irk people. It was sometimes hysterical to listen to him weekday mornings. OMG he and Bagley they were the Odd Couple.
    Thank you for giving us all a place to share our grief.

  3. stevec says:

    Wow, this is un-beleivable, I listen to the morning drive at 7 thia morning 11 eastern time they had 45 minute left to the show and David and Bagly were giving JJ yeley a bad time Bagly asked JJ why he did’nt want to drive in the IRL . Wow this is unreal. David was a greatt person, very opinionated but still a great person to himself, his family and his carreer, NASCAR. he will be missed by many people, no let me correct that statmen, he will be missed by millions.

  4. Just another racer says:

    This sucks! I get a lump in my throat when I think I was lisening to David this morning on the Morning Drive on my way into work. I enjoyed hearing David opinions and most of the time I agreed with what he was saying, and then other times I could’nt believe the stance he would take on some things. There were a few times I called and spoke with him, Marty and now Mike during the show. Even if David did not see my point of view, I still felt like my point was respected as was his.

    The one thing I hope is not forgoten is the fund raiser David started for Wessa Miller (Pennies for Wessa) I really hope this continues for her as this was somethig David was truelly passionate about and you could hear it in his voice. I can only imagine David would want someone to step up and make sure Wessa was still being helped and taken care of.

    David might have had that tough “I will complain and you will listen additude” But once you heard him talk about his grandson or about Wessa you knew there is a good man inside the big ‘ol body of his.

    God Speed David and I know you will be missed!
    Just Another Racer

  5. You’re absolutely right. I know that nobody could even come close to replacing Dave’s “crumudgeon” demeanor. Say what you will about how he wrote, he came at it honestly and without apology. The worst you can say about any of us in that media room is the best thing you could say about David, He did his job as he felt it should be done, and did it right.”

    So to recap, our elder statesmen in this industry, i.e. my mentors, Shav Glick and Mike Hollander, have a new colleague to welcome into the Eternal Press Room. Ol’ Big Bill’s gonna have a headache now, David’s there…

  6. Ross says:

    Agree with him or not, David Poole was the main reason I subscribed to the print edition of the Observer. There was nothing like taking my sorry little lunch out to the patio at work on a nice day, spreading out the sports section and reading what he had to say about NASCAR.

    I had the pleasure of meeting him on a couple of occasions and was surprised to find him not a curmudgeon but really nice and funny.

    This is a sad day.

  7. lauren says:

    I also agree that this is very sad to hear. Obviously David was loved and respected by many. It’s nice to hear how many people are affected by this and I’m sure his family appreciates it.
    RIP David.

  8. Neon says:

    Seems like NASCAR has seen more than it’s share (whether self-induced or not) of “end of era” circumstances in recent years. Now, I’m not so naive as to think that no change is good, but gosh maybe change could slow it’s pace just a bit. When you loose a seasoned, knowledgeable and unbiased voice (or pen) in a messenger of David’s caliber, I think of the day when the last WWII veteran leaves this earth…who is left to “really” share the story from eyes that have witnessed. Godspeed David Poole….enjoy the rest, you’ve earned it!

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