- Wednesday 05 February, 2014
As a child, Rick Poole was all about mini-bikes and motocross, but in 1981, he climbed off of them long enough to take his ’74 Plymouth ‘Cuda to Summit Motorsports Park, where he entered a race for the first time and won.
Because he had discovered that he liked racing, he decided to stay with it, but because he had also discovered that he liked motorcycles, he bought one in 1983, and before long, he was racing it at Summit Motorsports Park and with the International Drag Bike Association. He recalls wallowing in the feeling of sitting low to the ground, leaning forward and having the wind go over him as he went wide-open throttle down-track.
These days, he does so 8.90 seconds at a time in the Super Bike class, on his Suzuki bike, which he refers to as an “almost stock economical piece” with an engine slightly larger in displacement than stock but still low in compression.
He fought electrical issues throughout the 2013 season and was forced to unwire his delay box and go bottom-bulb racing for a while as he worked to uncover the culprit, but in the end, the reigning 2012 champion won two races, was runner-up at two races, made the bracket finals team and earned the 2013 Super Bike championship.
At the races with him are his girlfriend, Tabitha Gittins, who races a dragster in Super Pro, and his son, Austin Poole, who races a Yamaha FJ1100 motorcycle in Stock, and while he would like to spend more time conversing with his fellow racers, he keeps pretty busy in the pit area tending to the responsibilities of the team, which also includes fellow racer Gary Godwin.
Poole, an auto technician who works in Akron, Ohio and lives in New Franklin, Ohio, currently has his tried-and-true bike disassembled, and is weighing whether he’ll ride it or the new Pro Mod-style bike he’s currently building to run over the 7.50 limit.
Regardless of which path he chooses, he plans to start the season on the bike that carried him to the 2012 and 2013 championships.
By Mary Lendzion