Sad news for the NASCAR community as word begins to spread that David Poole, a writer for the Charlotte Observer, died today.
Poole reportedly suffered a heart attack at his home in Stanfield, NC. Poole was 50-years-old.
Poole has been writing about NASCAR for the last 13 years at the Observerand covered his last race at Talladega last Sunday. His final post on the Observer website on Tuesday explored the upside and downside to racing at this high-speed track.
Poole was one of the best this sport had to offer. Whether it be in his writing or in his daily radio show for Sirius Satellite radio, Poole knew and understood this sport better than most.
"He was the best in his field, there's no doubt about that," Observer editor Rick Thames said Tuesday afternoon while announcing Poole's death to his newsroom.
As news broke this afternoon, drivers began to react to the news of Poole's passing.
"As someone fortunate enough to make a living doing what I love, I am indebted to David for the exposure he generated for our sport for 13 years, and the direct connection he had with the NASCAR fan base," Earnhardt said.
Earnhardt's and Johnson's team owner Rick Hendrick will honor Poole with Carolina blue decals with "DP" marked on it in honor of Poole's alma mater on all four of his cars this weekend at Richmond.
Richard Childress Racing driver Jeff Burton reacted to the news this afternoon, "I've gotten to know (David) Poole really well over the years. He spent a lot of time with the No. 31 team every weekend and would sit and have conversations with us on just about everything. He was fun to agree and debate with" Burton said.
Burton went on to say "I admired his professionalism and work ethic and he did a great job of reporting our sport to the fans. He's someone I have a lot of respect for and he will definitely be missed."
NASCAR chairman Brian France reacted to the news "David was as passionate about NASCAR as anyone, and had very definitive opinions about the sport," France said. "He served the industry, and most importantly the fans, through his reporting and commentary."
Poole was born in Gastonia, NC, and lived in Stanfield at the time of his death. According to the Observer,he was a four-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association's George Cunningham Award as the organization's writer of the year. He also authored several books.
This writer is especially sad with the news, as Poole was one of my favorite writers that covered the sport we love. His talent and passion shone through in whatever form of media he was working.
As one of the last great journalists that covered NASCAR full time, Poole represented a part of NASCAR history that is quickly disappearing.
He was honest and not afraid to speak his mind.
You didn't have to agree with him, but you respected him first and foremost. The man and his insights and knowledge will be sorely missed.
Poole is survived by his wife, two sons, daughter, and one grandson.
R.I.P. David Poole.
Source:ESPN.com, foxsports.com, thatsracin.com