Charlie Poague doesn’t need an introduction when it comes to racing. He made a statement the moment he entered the racing world. He started his career in racing at the drag strip, US 30. He bought a Nova II named Night Life, racing that car until he found his true love in racing, stock cars. After watching Eddie Leviner win most of the races in one season at Broadway Speedway in Crown Point, he decided to build and ultimately race the famous, bright-orange, 109. Charlie’s rookie year, he beat Eddie in the only feature Eddie lost in the 89’ season, to earn his first of many feature trophies to come. By the end of Charlie’s career, he had over 40 feature wins in various classes of stock cars. He had also racked up numerous heat race and trophy dash wins as well. After his first season of racing, he followed up the next season by finishing 2nd in points to Guy Volk. Not winning a championship in his career was one of the most difficult facts he had to face throughout his career, with Southlake Speedway closing within weeks of the end of the season, while he was in the points lead, he would never quite get there again. Charlie had the passion for competing at a high success rate, which drove him to push and succeed in winning over the next 20 years of racing. He won features at many different race tracks and he was always looking for the next level to take his career. If you knew Charlie, he had the gift of gab. He could talk your ear off and never stop saying something or telling stories. He was always first to congratulate you if you beat him on the track or help you get on the track if you were broken. That’s why he won Sportsman of the Year Award more than once.
Charlie Poague never gave up. In his final two years of his cancer shortened life, instead of doing something else, something he had never done before, he just wanted to race and to compete with his friends and racing family. In fact he lead points for a bit and raced for the final championship of his career, only coming up short when he had to take nights off because he was in the ER here at Plymouth Speedway in 2017. Charlie was an owner operator/truck driver for almost 35 years, and worked until within weeks of the day he passed. Never skipping a beat, up at the crack of dawn every day of his life, doing what he loved to do. He had many stories to share with his friends and fans. I, Butch Fischer, his best friend for almost 30 years, will never forget going to the track in Crown Point in the early 90’s to see drivers waiting to see if he was going to show up. Saying things like: “Oh Charlies here, we’re in trouble tonight”. You definitely had to bring your A game when that famous orange 109 showed up. I remember one night Ron Wilkes beat him, and Charlie being Charlie, had a plan. To my surprise it wasn’t racing, but Charlie, with the help of a bag full of Old Style and Ron’s willingness to accumulate as much Old Style as possible, Charlie got him to talk. Learning what transmission and gear combination he was running, Charlie went home to find what he needed. The next week I believe that orange 109 was in front once again. That’s how we all came to be great friends. e.
If you have a Charles Poague story you'd like to share, Please send it to: IDOLVDIRT@GMAIL.com