Brennan Poole is a proud TWCA alumnus and professional race car driver. He is currently racing in the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Truck Series.
Q: Where are you living now?
A: I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. My cat is really happy for me to be home. I’ve been travelling for races and this is my first day back home in a few weeks.
Q: Are you married? Kids?
A: No, I am not.
Q: How long have you been racing now? And what do you love about it?
A: I started when I was 5 and I’m 28, about to turn 29 now, so 24 years. They have a thing called Quarter Midget Racing, I started at the same track as Jeff Gordon. My dad took me to watch when I was 4 and asked if I wanted to try. It was the coolest thing I’d seen, so I did it and I’ve been racing ever since.
Q: What are some of the challenges that comes with racing?
A: It takes a tremendous amount of faith. There’s so much out of your control - sponsorship money, the right opportunities at the right time to get noticed, to move forward in your career. I have a lot of faith. I relied a lot on God to open those doors and trust him. Keeping the faith and knowing that he’d direct my path. You want this dream so bad, but there’s a lot out of your control. My faith helped me a tremendous amount. There were so many ups and downs in my career, but God always took care of me.
It’s one of the hardest things to do. There’s only 40 of us in the world who get to race on Sunday and have these experiences. It’s really really difficult to do and it’s really special. The only way you can get there is for God to open those doors. For me, I’ve just always been super fortunate, that just at the right time, someone came along and helped me to get to the next level.
Q: What years and grades were you at TWCA?
A: I was there from 2nd grade until I graduated. I graduated early. I was technically a junior and did summer school, so I could go race. I graduated in ’08.
Q: How would you describe your time at TWCA?
A: Woodlands Christian taught me a lot about my faith. I had some great teachers and I’ve kept in touch with all of them. I was on the phone with Pat Turner yesterday. They taught me a lot about the Bible, which helped me during the tough times. Three teachers really influenced me a lot. One teacher actually came to watch me race last year. She helped me graduate early. She always believed in me and was there for me. They [other teachers] taught me Old Testament, New Testament and theology. They challenged me on a lot of things with learning the Bible. Those things I’ll never forget.
Q: What was your favorite subject?
A: My favorite class was theology with Mr. P. I loved science and doing the experiments. We dissected sharks. It tied into racing a bit. Because you figure out what works and doesn’t work with how to make the car go faster. So, it’s like a giant science experience. I like creating a hypothesis and figuring out what works and what doesn’t, and there’s a lot of math involved, but I have a team to help with that.
Q: What is your favorite memory from your time here?
A: There are so many. I remember when I was a kid, there was field day. There were so many activities and it was so much fun. I miss playing basketball in high school. I was there the first year we won the State TAPPS Championship. I’m a competitor, so I just miss my time there building relationships with my teammates and my coaches.
Q: What do you miss most about The Woodlands/home?
A: Well, when I think about home, I think about Mexican food. That’s what I miss first. Then there are the little things, like Whataburger or Shipley Do-nuts. When I was in school, we had a 10 min break, and you could buy a biscuit or kolache. So, I miss the kolaches and no one knows what a kolache is outside of Texas, so they don’t know what I’m talking about.
Q: What do you think was the most valuable lesson/takeaway from your time here and how do you think it shapes who you are now and what you do?
A: How I was able to learn so much about the Lord and my faith. I was racing a lot. I was gone a lot traveling and racing. Being able to have chapel and class that taught me about the Word… most of my knowledge about faith, and my relationship with God, was through Bible classes. It helped me learn a lot and helped me through the tough times to where I am [now]. You never stop learning and growing in your faith. Having that strong foundation from when I was so young, from 2nd grade to 12th… Every week I was in those classes and building that relationship with God. It made me really strong. Those are things you can’t replace - those experiences in class. There are so many things that impacted me in a positive way.
It’s crazy to look at the pictures of the school and how much it’s changed. We were still in portables. I played on the baseball field and in the gym, but to see how much it’s [campus] grown is really impressive.