Rising to the Challenge: Jeremy Campbell Ready for I-55 Raceway A key to being successful on the road with the World of Outlaws is to be able to adjust and adapt when adversity presents itself. That is exactly what happened last weekend to...
Rising to the Challenge: Jeremy Campbell Ready for I-55 Raceway
A key to being successful on the road with the World of Outlaws is to be able to adjust and adapt when adversity presents itself. That is exactly what happened last weekend to Jeremy Campbell and his team, as they were in the midst of a stretch that saw them compete three straight nights and four times in a five-day period.
The team made the most of what could have been a dire situation, and is ready this weekend to compete at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri on Saturday, July 7, where Campbell earned a Top-10 finish last July. The event will be the third in-a-row on a tight high-banked track, and that has Campbell chomping at the bit to roll the car off the trailer.
"You can race the car and drive the car there, because it's a short track," said Campbell, driver of the RLM Financial Services Maxim. "It is at places like that where I have good capabilities. On short tracks, it's all about driving rather than motors. It's a fun track and you have to be on your game. You just have to keep pushing."
Campbell and his team led by crew chief Kevin Loveys, had a very arduous couple of days beginning last Friday, prior to their first-ever visit to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota for the first night of the Duel in the Dakotas. The team waited in Sioux Falls, South Dakota until about 12:30 p.m. for a new engine to be delivered. Once the engine arrived, they installed it and continued to work on the car until around 2 p.m. At that time, they loaded their truck and trailer and began the 319-mile journey north on I-29 for the event that evening.
They arrive around 5:30 p.m., just as the drivers meeting was wrapping up. With only about five minutes to get the car ready for hot laps, Campbell and his crew worked feverously to make sure everything was in place. In hop laps, the second-year driver turned the 11th quickest lap, with a stout field of 41 cars in attendance. In time trials, he timed in 12th, which put him up on the outside of the front row for the first heat.
Trouble on the opening lap of the heat race forced Campbell and his team to bring out their back-up car for the rest of the night. He started scratch in the B-Main and in just 12 laps made his way to fifth, just one spot short of transferring to the A-Main.
"Last weekend was a tough weekend for us," admitted the native of Monroe, Michigan. "We got a good qualifying time on Friday night with the new motor and everything was going great. Then we had some trouble in the heat race and had to bring out the spare car."
For the remainder of the evening and the early hours of the next morning, Campbell and his crew worked on the car that was damaged in the pit area at River Cities Speedway. Long after every other team had packed up and headed south to Fargo, North Dakota for the finale of the Duel in the Dakotas, Campbell and his crew continued to work on their car. They just about saw the sun come up as the put the finishing touches on it and rolled it back into the trailer, before hitting the road to head south to Fargo.
"That night we worked on that car all night," he explained. "We didn't leave there until probably five in the morning, and got to Fargo at six. Then we got a few things ready on the car. We then had our generator go out at Fargo, so we had to rent one for the Wisconsin race. It was tough."
With the level of competition at an all-time high this season with the World of Outlaws, Campbell is quick to point out how important it is to be quick right off the bat each night, as well as having a little bit of luck when drawing for a qualifying position.
"We have 26 good drivers out here, and that means that two will not make it every night," shared Campbell. "To make the show is one big step. To have everything else fall in line makes everything else that much easier. When things start to go wrong and things fall apart, that is when there is lack of sleep and rushing around trying to get things together. We are hanging in there. Everything is starting to look up from here."
The event at I-55 on Saturday, July 7 will be the fourth race of the "SuperClean Summer of Money" on ESPN2. Last Saturday night at Red River Valley Speedway, with the television cameras rolling, Campbell turned in a very solid 14th-place run on the ultra-fast half-mile. With eight races on ESPN2 this season, as well as 20 overall on television, Campbell is able to race in front of many new fans, as well as the many loyal fans he already has.
"It is great to be on ESPN2, with how many people watch that channel," he noted. "To have my car in front of cameras helps a lot. I can't wait to watch the races on Sunday's. I tell all my friends to watch. It's awesome."
After his success at I-55 Raceway last season, Campbell is excited to return to the high-banked 1/3-mile. After a very trying weekend last week that his team endured, he is looking to reward them with a strong run at the track which is co-owned by NASCAR star Ken Schrader. Earlier this season, Campbell earned a season-best fourth-place finish at Tri-State (Ind.) Speedway, another high-banked bullring similar to I-55.
"A good run always boosts your mentality and confidence," he said. "I always shoot to finish in the Top-10. We're looking for a good run at I-55."
The event from I-55 Raceway will be the fourth race of the "SuperClean Summer of Money" on ESPN2, and will be broadcast on Sunday, July 8 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, 10:30 a.m. Central on ESPN2.
On Saturday, July 7 at I-55 Raceway, reserved seating will be $32, with general admission $30, and kids 12-under will be admitted free of charge in the general admission seats. For ticket information, please contact the track at 636-479-3219 or visit www.i55raceway.com.