Drag Illustrated Issue 178, September / October 2022 | Page 24


Investing in the Future

Daren Poole-Adams is as passionate as they come By Kelly Wade

Daren Poole-Adams has a nostalgic heart and a mind intensely focused on the future of drag racing . Standing beside a pair of crisp white COPO Camaros in the pit area at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park during the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U . S . Nationals , his thoughtful investment was evident .

“ I do live a little bit in the nostalgic past of Stock and Super Stock , and I think it ’ s still a great product ,” says the Shelby , North Carolina , resident , as he gestured toward the closest car , a Camaro Rolling Chassis ( CRC ) from the COPO program that bears serial No . 3 of five built in 2016 .
The car was outfitted this year with a 2022 body kit and converted to port injection , and it ’ s driven in NHRA competition by Steve Foley , a skilled bracket racer-turned-Stock Eliminator competitor . Once purchased by Poole-Adams , the car was initially utilized by Holley EFI engineers to create their first direct-injection systems . Poole-Adams is still involved with such entities such as GM , Holley , Goodyear , and more to test new technology as needed .
“ I very much like testing things for anybody that will let us ,” says Poole-Adams , who also enjoys hand-selecting drivers to pilot his race cars . Stock Eliminator standouts Brenda Grubbs , A . J . Currie , and Emily Stott-Volkman have all wheeled cars from his stable . Most recently , Foley , Jeff Warren , and Robbie Butler have raced with Poole-Adams .
“ This car is my favorite ,” says Poole-Adams , nodding to the No . 3 COPO . “ This is the wheelie car , and it ’ s just so fun . We ’ ve worked really hard on it , and it ’ s very , very competitive .”
Putting Foley in a car was almost destiny as Warren – Foley ’ s father-in-law – has been a friend since Poole-Adams raced LT1 cars in the 1990s .
“ Jeff Warren was the first guy I ever reached out to for a short block ,” he says . “ I always did my own stuff , but I saw Jeff had a lot of fast LT1 cars back then . We ’ d hang out at the racetrack , and eventually , Jeff ended up wanting to transition from LT1 to maybe something new . I let him have my 2014 COPO , and we did a joint venture , then we went to 396 , and that ’ s where he is now .”
The Poole-Adams racing family tree has another branch that brings in Mark Beaver , who owns the red LT1 1998 Camaro that Foley also races in Stock Eliminator .
“ I bought that car new , drove it to work three years , paid if off , then built a Stocker out of it . It won Best Engineered in IHRA ,” says Poole- Adams , who eventually sold the car to Beaver . “ It was crazy fast in IHRA days , and Mark Beaver has done me proud with it over here . It ’ s kind of funny ; Foley ends up in that car that I built , and he beat me with it at the last divisional in Atlanta .
24 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 178