Clay Campbell Caraway Speedway race recap

Campbell Ends Championship Season With Victory MARTINSVILLE, VA (October 29, 2001) -- Clay Campbell proved again Saturday his track championship isn't a fluke. Campbell started on the pole and led every lap of the Limited Late Model feature at...

Campbell Ends Championship Season With Victory

MARTINSVILLE, VA (October 29, 2001) -- Clay Campbell proved again Saturday his track championship isn't a fluke.

Campbell started on the pole and led every lap of the Limited Late Model feature at Caraway Speedway Saturday evening. His fifth win of the season came two weeks after he had clinched the Limited Late Model championship at the Asheboro, NC, track.

"It was great. Now we'll have that to fall back on all winter," said Campbell, the president of Martinsville Speedway. "The last thing you do is what you think about all winter, so a win is a good way to finish."

None of his five wins this season were easy, Campbell said, but Saturday's victory was as close to "easy" as you could get. The Hayes Jewelers/Taylor Motorsports Chevrolet was perfect when the team backed it off the truck for qualifying on Friday.

"The car was great -- probably the best it has been all year. We didn't change a thing all weekend," said Campbell. "I wouldn't say it was an easy win; they're never easy. But the car was so good this was the easiest win of the five this season."

The season was a pretty amazing one for Campbell and the Hayes Jewelers/Taylor Motorsports team. Back when the season began in the spring, Campbell and his team were looking at running maybe 15 races. But they jumped out to the points lead with a quick win and they wound up running the entire 27-race schedule.

"It was a long season and no matter how you try to forget about the points, you don't," said Campbell, who began his racing career more than 15 years ago in go-karts. "I found myself checking the points every Monday morning."

Campbell wound up with a 134-point margin over second place James Triplett.

He captured the title by using a combination of wins and consistency. In 27 starts Campbell had five victories and 23 top-five finishes. He never finished out of the top 10. And perhaps most amazingly, he completed every possible lap run during the season.

"Everybody on this team should be proud of what they've accomplished this season," said Campbell.

Campbell isn't sure what next season holds yet, although it probably won't include another points chase. "I had a great time, but it gets tiring."

For now, he's just trying to savor this season.

"I don't really know about next year. I haven't let this year sink in yet," said Campbell. "This is something I never thought I could do. All the years I've raced, I've never had the chance to run for a championship. We did it and I'm glad we did. Now I want to enjoy it for a while."

-MS-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Clay Campbell