NASCAR: Under-the-radar driver set to challenge Kyle Busch

An under-the-radar full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver was confirmed for all five of the Truck Series races in which Kyle Busch is slated to compete this year even before the bounty for the remaining four was created, yet nobody seemed to notice. That driver is Brennan Poole.

After Kyle Busch dominated the NASCAR Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway a few weeks ago, Kevin Harvick placed a $50,000 bounty on him for any full-time Cup Series driver who could drop down to the Truck Series and beat him in any one of his four remaining starts this season.

Marcus Lemonis, the CEO of Truck Series title sponsor Gander RV & Outdoors, then added $50,000 to this bounty. Ever since then, the focus has justifiably been on the big-name challengers.

Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson were the first two drivers to confirm that they will be challenging Busch for this $100,000. Elliott, who drives full-time for Hendrick Motorsports in the Cup Series, is set to drive the #24 Chevrolet for GMS Racing in the Truck Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 14 and Kansas Speedway on Friday, May 30.

Larson, who drives full-time for Chip Ganassi Racing in the Cup Series, is set to drive the same truck in the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, March 20.

It was then confirmed that Erik Jones, one of Busch’s three Cup Series teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing, is set to drive a truck fielded by former NASCAR team owners Billy Ballew and James Finch. The race in which he was slated to do so was not initially confirmed, but it has since been confirmed that he is slated to compete at Homestead-Miami Speedway as well.

These three deals leave one of Busch’s remaining four Truck Series starts, the race at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, March 27, with no full-time Cup Series competitors, right?

Wrong.

There is one full-time Cup Series driver who has actually been confirmed for each and every one of Busch’s remaining four Truck Series starts since not only before the bounty was created but before Busch even won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to secure his seventh consecutive Truck Series victory, and that includes the race at Texas Motor Speedway.

That driver is Brennan Poole.

Poole competes full-time as a rookie in the Cup Series behind the wheel of the #15 Chevrolet for Premium Motorsports.

After he competed in the Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway last month, it was confirmed that he would compete for On Point Motorsports in an additional eight races on the 23-race schedule.

All five of Busch’s scheduled starts are included in that eight-race deal. Poole finished in 17th place in the season opener without Busch competing and then 15th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when Busch took the checkered flag.

Aside of the four remaining races in which Busch is slated to compete this year, Poole is also set to compete in the races at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, June 19, Pocono Raceway on Saturday, June 27 and Kentucky Speedway on Thursday, July 9.

Poole is actually one of the few drivers who has come close to challenging Busch during his seven-race Truck Series win streak that dates back to July of 2018, so he is not a driver to take lightly. He finished in a career-high second place, just 1.115 seconds behind Busch, at Charlotte Motor Speedway last May. He was driving for On Point Motorsports at the time as well.

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While big-name NASCAR Cup Series drivers Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson and Erik Jones will surely give it their all to knock Kyle Busch off of his Truck Series pedestal and garner much of the attention in attempting to do so, don’t forget about Brennan Poole when it comes to the $100,000 bounty.

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