Brennan Poole’s Xfinity title hopes dashed after early Phoenix crash

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Brennan Poole‘s chances of advancing to the Xfinity Series’ championship race ended with a crash on Lap 23 of Saturday’s race at Phoenix Raceway.

Poole, who entered the race fourth in the standings, made contact with the lapped car of Caesar Bacarella when he dove inside Bacarella going into Turn 1, sending him three wide with Bacarella and Cole Custer on the outside.

Bacarella, making his first Xfinity start, came down on Poole and made contact with the No. 48 Chevrolet. The contact caused Poole to cut a tire and shoot into the outside wall.

Fellow playoff driver Daniel Hemric was behind Poole when the accident occurred, but his No. 21 Chevrolet was not damaged.

“I saw the 8 car (Bacarella) go in and we were going to kinda go to the top to go around him and he slid up so I tried to go to the bottom,” Poole told NBCSN. “Bad luck, bad circumstances. I guess I could have been a little more cautious there, but just trying to get up there to get some stage points and keep moving forward. Our car was actually pretty good. Just a bummer. I don’t know what else to say. Sometimes lapped cars are in your way and you got to navigate around them and just didn’t make it happen.”

Poole’s team attempted to make repairs on his car, but after Poole left pit road to beat the five-minute crash clock, he hit the wall again on the front stretch and went to the garage.