Lucas Oil Preseason Spotlight: 12 questions with Aaron Poe as he moves to Street Stocks
WHEATLAND, Missouri (February 28, 2019) - Since fulfilling his racing dream of driving a Late Model the last three seasons, Aaron Poe has been among the more consistent drivers in Lucas Oil Speedway's Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Model division.
Driving the popular No. 45 that once belonged to the late Allen "Cowboy" Chancellor, Poe finished third in Lucas Oil Speedway points in 2017 and fifth in 2018. But this season, the Warrensburg, Missouri, driver is going a different direction and will compete in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stock division.
Lucas Oil Speedway Public Relations Director Lyndal Scranton caught up with Poe earlier this week to discuss that move, goals for the 2019 season and some of Poe's other interests.
What's been happening in the offseason and what are the plans for the new season?
"We ended up selling the Late Model and Todd McCoin, who runs Lucas weekly bought our Late Model. He'll be running that car this year. My brother-in-law, Marc Carter, I'll be driving his old car from last year. Marc is in the process of building a new car. We're going to kind of have a team, I guess you could say."
After three seasons of driving the ULMA Late Model, what went into the decision to switch to Street Stocks?
"While I was running the Late Model, my brother-in-law had a few nights that he couldn't run the car. He told me, if you want to you can take the Street Stock out and run it. In 2017, we ended up winning three or four races in that car and last year we wound up doing the same thing and won some races. We ended up being pretty successful in it. Marc's car owner, Mark Lewis, approached us and said, 'Instead of selling the Street Stock, why don't you guys run it for me this year? All you guys have to do is supply the motor.' For us, it was a no-brainer with how successful we were being and the fact we were pretty much going to have a full ride. It made sense. And when you get to run against your brother-in-law every week and kind of have a little competition between you two, it makes it even better."
What was the experience like, driving the No. 45 Late Model with the connection to the late Allen "Cowboy" Chancellor, the last couple of years?
"When I first started back in 2000 racing Modifieds, we were getting help from Jason Bodenhamer and it was always my dream that one day I could race a Late Model. It was a dream come true. Harriet Chancellor (Cowboy's widow) gave us the opportunity to run Cowboy's old Late Model and that got us kicked off in the Late Model series. It kind of grew from there. After that first year we ended up getting a new car, a Bob Pierce car, and got a little more successful running up front. We got our first feature win which was a dream come true. Before that, I had taken a four-year hiatus from racing. It was really good to get back into the community and into the racing family and get to race again. It even brought me to find my girlfriend (Jessica Bruce). We met at the races. Like I said, it's all a dream come true."
What are the plans and goals for the 2019 season?
"We haven't sat down and mapped out exactly where we will run. If I had my choice, we'd run weekly points at Lucas. That's probably my favorite track. In Late Models, we ran for points there the last three years and did really well. There's going to be some big-money shows we're going to try and hit late in the year. But I think our goal is to win a few features and hopefully we end up in the top three in points at Lucas."
You've driven Modifieds, Late Models and Street Stocks. Is there a common bond among those, or do they drive completely different?
"With how hooked up these cars are nowadays, whether it's a Modified, Street Stock or Late Model driving styles are pretty similar. You just have to make a few tweaks here and there. It's definitely going to be hard not to jump in that Late Model and go as fast as you do in those cars. Those are always going to be my favorite car to run. But the Street Stock is going to be just as fun. If anyone came up to me and said, hey will you run my car, I don't care if it was Pure Stock up to a Sprint Car, I'd jump in it. I love racing and that's pretty all there is to it."
You dad, Tim Poe, helps you out on the car. Who else give you a hand?
"It's pretty much just my Dad and my girlfriend, Jessica. Now that we're kind of teamed up with my brother-in-law, he has a few guys who help him and will kind of jump back and forth as needed, depending on how the night is going."
What car number will you have this year?
"We're going to stick with 45. We seemed to have some pretty good luck with it the last three years. My original number was 13, but when I came back and started in the Late Model, 45 was Cowboy's old number. We stuck with that. Harriet is going to help us with some small sponsorship. We asked her if she would mind if we ran his number and she was fine with it. So we're going to stick with 45 for the time being."
Your Dad is a legendary golf coach at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. How is your golf game?
"I play. Obviously not as good as Dad, but I try to play a couple of times a year. I don't get out as much as I'd like to. I consider myself a decent golfer. Definitely not a scratch golfer, though."
What is the best part of your game and what is the worst?
"Probably my mid-to-short iron game and my chipping game is pretty good. Definitely my putting is my weak point."
If there was a golf tournament for race-car drivers in this part of the country, who would win? Who else in the pits is a good player?
"I don't know. If my Dad was involved, he would be up among the top few players. My brother-in-law plays a little bit. As far as everyone else, I'm not real positive who plays."
You're a big Kansas City Chiefs fan. What about your allegiance to the Chiefs?
"I really didn't watch much football growing up. But once I got out living on my own I started paying more attention to football. of course, being local I started rooting for the Chiefs and now me, my brother-in-law and sister all have season tickets and we've had them for five-plus years. They have had theirs a lot longer than that and I started going about five years ago. It's kind of grown into a second love or passion."
Any sponsors you want to give a shout-out to?
"Harriet with Cowboy's WAR. Also Elite Auto, Gecco Graphics, L&L Termites, Lewis Landscaping, Robertson Dozing, First Central Bank, Solar Pro Tint 'n Tunes, Spies Enterprises, Fitters Restaurant and McTighe Motorsports."
The 2019 Lucas Oil Speedway season kicks off March 30 with an open test and tune. The Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series begins April 6 with action in all four of the weekly divisions - Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods, Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models and O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks.
To inquire about tickets, VIP suites or camping, contact McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@LucasOilSpeedway.com.
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984