Searching Far and Wide: Jeremy Campbell and New Crew Excited for Knoxville Knoxville, Iowa--Oct. 4, 2006--Sometimes one has to go to great lengths to find some good help. Jeremy Campbell has done just that, as he searched the globe far and wide...
Searching Far and Wide: Jeremy Campbell and New Crew Excited for Knoxville
Knoxville, Iowa--Oct. 4, 2006--Sometimes one has to go to great lengths to find some good help. Jeremy Campbell has done just that, as he searched the globe far and wide for some dedicated crew members to help him during his rookie season with the World of Outlaws Sprint Series. Earlier this season he found some help by way of Australia and now he had gone north of the border to help shore up his crew for the remainder of the season.
During the Harvest Classic at Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway last month, Campbell welcomed Kevin Loveys to his crew. For a couple of races, it was just Jeremy and Kevin working on the car. During their first weekend together, Campbell charged from the 20th starting spot to finish fifth in the finale at Calistoga, on a very demanding track that was extremely difficult to pass on that night.
A couple weeks later the team added Mike Kruchka to the fold. Ironically, both Loveys and Kruchka hail from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. To their knowledge, along with one of Randy Hannagan's crew members, they are the only Canadians on the circuit. The trio is ready to head to the famed Knoxville Raceway this Saturday for Budweiser Night which was postponed by rain earlier in the season.
"We picked Kevin (Loveys) up back at Calistoga and he has been working with us ever since," said Campbell, driver of the Americas Best Value Inn Maxim. "The Aussie's (Brody Tulloch and Sam Walsh) had to go back to Australia, because they started racing themselves. I also picked Mike (Kruchka) up, who is one of Kevin's buddies, at Wilmot."
Campbell has a renewed confidence with Mike and Kevin onboard, as he continues his freshmen season with the series. He currently is second in the battle for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Maxim Racing and ButlerBuilt and is eighth overall in the championship standings.
"Right now the team has a very positive attitude," commented Campbell, as he stood outside of his trailer with the melodic undertones of Metallica's version of "Turn the Page" echoing from the stereo system mounted inside. "We all like each other. We all like the same kind of music and are getting along. When the team gets along, that helps a lot better at the race track. That helps create the good attitude and that helps you to get faster on the race track."
When asked how he finds crew members from all reaches of the globe, Campbell pauses for a minute pondering the question, and then smiles. The light side of this very focused and determined young driver becomes evident as he chuckles.
"I don't know," said the native of Monroe, Michigan. "I guess the United States isn't cutting it for me or something. I have to go to different countries to find some people. It's a lot from people that I know. When you are racing on the road, you meet so many people. You start thinking and talking to people and trying to get people with the same personalities. When you have the same personalities working on the car, you should be good."
Campbell points out that the camaraderie of the team is one of the biggest keys to being successful on the track, especially since they see each other for the majority of each day that they are on the road.
"With us, we are cramped up in the truck," said Campbell. "We have a 16-foot living box. If we don't get along, then the team will not be doing good. You'll have a bad mentality about things. If the team is all hanging out, and having fun, then you'll do good. In racing, if you have fun you usually do good. If you are not having fun and do not want to be here, then you will not do good. That's what I was looking for. I needed to get back to having fun. It's a lot of work out here and I like to have fun while I am doing it."
After taking part in his first National Open at Williams Grove Speedway last weekend, Campbell is excited to head back to Knoxville Raceway this weekend. This will be the third time that he will have competed at Knoxville this season. He took part in the Knoxville Nationals, as well as recording a very solid 13th-place finish in June when the World of Outlaws Sprint Series visited the track.
"The Grove is a unique race track," said Campbell, reflecting on his trip to Williams Grove, while preparing for Knoxville. "There is no other track really like it. Knoxville is its own thing. They are both big half miles, but they are totally different. Knoxville is real fun. It is very competitive and I like racing out there. I like the facility. Everything is awesome out there."
Loveys, who has assumed the role of crew chief for the team, is very optimistic with six races left in the season. After the strong start the pair had at the Harvest Classic, they are looking forward to racing at a couple more half-mile tracks this season, including this weekend at Knoxville. One of the other half-miles they are confident to return to, will be the season ending weekend at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where Campbell finished second earlier this season to mark his best career finish with the series.
In addition to this, they have been fast on the bullrings as well, with Campbell setting a new track record at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway with 47 cars on-hand, on Sept. 25, in his first every visit to the quarter-mile.
"We've had some bad luck such as breaking a rear end in warm-ups at Calistoga, but other than that, it has been going pretty well," said Loevys. "I'm getting comfortable working with Jeremy. He is definitely on the gas, and in a few more weeks with him, I think we can definitely run up front."
Kruchka is very pleased with how well things are going for the team, and how well he and Loveys are clicking with Campbell. He also is very proud to be part of a crew on with a team that races with the World of Outlaws, and to represent his country as one of only a handful of Canadians on the road with the series.
"Everything is great," said Kruchka. "This is obviously the big leagues for any sprint car competitor and crew guy. It is a complete honor to be working on an Outlaw team. To be Canadian is fun too. We come down here and get razzed a little bit by all the American's about being the guys from up North. It's been a great experience so far overall. Jeremy and everybody have been great. It has been absolutely amazing so far."
Look for the trio to continue to build momentum as they get to know each other even better. As Loveys and Kruchka becomes more familiar with what set-ups Campbell likes, they expect to be running at the front of the field and to end the season on a very high and in their case when it comes to musical preference, a very loud note.
For ticket information, go to Knoxville Raceway's Web site at www.knoxvilleraceway.com. On Saturday October 7, adult reserved tickets will be $27, while reserved seats for children will be $13.50. Adult general admission tickets will be $25, with general admission tickets for children just $12.50.