2007 World of Outlaws Season Review: Jeremy Campbell Jeremy Campbell learned a lot during his rookie season with the World of Outlaws in 2006 and he was able to use this knowledge and experience this season as returned for his second year on...
2007 World of Outlaws Season Review: Jeremy Campbell
Jeremy Campbell learned a lot during his rookie season with the World of Outlaws in 2006 and he was able to use this knowledge and experience this season as returned for his second year on the road, to contest the most grueling schedule in all of motorsports.
The native of Monroe, Michigan had several strong runs, led a number of laps, set fast time twice and also won a Crane Cams Dash to earn a pole position in an A-Feature event. With nearly 30 drivers beginning the season full-time with the World of Outlaws in 2007 and 21 of those finishing it, Campbell had to be on the top of his game every time he pulled into the pit area and unloaded his car.
"It was stacked this year," said Campbell, driver of the RLM Financial Maxim. "There was always a good field of cars and everyone was competitive. The B-Mains were often the interesting races, to see who would be in the A-Main. It was a real competitive year."
Campbell knew the importance of time trials in 2007, as the World of Outlaws introduced a new format that transferred the first and second-place finishers in each heat race into the Crane Cams Dash. Twice this season, the second-year driver was quickest in qualifying, including at Kokomo Speedway in Indiana for the second consecutive season. He also was fastest in his first visit to the uniquely shaped half-mile at New Egypt Speedway in New Jersey.
"With how the format was this year, qualifying was pretty much everything," he noted. "If you didn't qualify well you would be struggling all night. If you did qualify within the magic numbers and finish up front in the heat race, mainly first or second, then you were golden. If you did qualify just a little off, you were in the third row of a heat race and it would be difficult. It was real tough, but you just had to go with it and try your hardest."
Campbell enjoyed the two trips that the World of Outlaws made to Canada this season. He had competed north of the border in the past and knew how anxious the fans were to see 410-sprint car racing and how hospitable they would be. On the first night of the Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton he finished sixth, after winning the first heat and earning a spot in the Crane Cams Dash, where he also finished sixth.
"I had been to Canada in the past with the All Stars (All Star Circuit of Champions) and it's always cool up there," said Campbell. "The people are really nice to us up there. It's awesome going up there."
Another highlight of the 2007 for Campbell and his team was the opportunity to be on television a total of 18 times, between ESPN2 and SPEED, including the finale of the inaugural Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway which was broadcast live.
"Being on channel's like ESPN2 and SPEED, was great," he noted. "A lot of my friends were able to watch the races. In the past they had to have a satellite to do that and now they can all watch. Having the television package that we did was awesome this year."
One of the strongest runs that Campbell turned in all season came at K-C Raceway in Ohio on July 28, with the ESPN2 cameras rolling for the seventh event of the "SuperClean Summer of Money." He started on the pole of the fourth heat and won that in commanding form by nearly four seconds, to earn a spot in the Crane Cams Dash. He started on the pole of the dash and also won that in convincing fashion to earn the pole for the A-Feature, where he would lead the first seven laps, before finishing 10th.
"K-C (Raceway) was a good night," Campbell said. "We qualified really well and the whole night was just great. We did fall back some at the end of the feature, but that's just part of racing."
The 24-year old driver also had a strong run in his home state of Michigan at I-96 Speedway. In the series only visit of the season to the Wolverine state, he was second quickest in time trials. A strong finish in his heat race earned him a spot in the Crane Cams Dash, to earn him the 10th starting spot in the A-Feature. On a track that was tough to pass on, he worked his way up to seventh, to earn one of his eight Top-10 finishes on the season. He also won the B-Main four times in 2007 to race his way into the A-Feature.
Campbell wrapped the 2007 campaign a very respectable 18th in the World of Outlaws championship standings on the strength of eight Top-10 finishes. He raced his way into the Crane Cams Dash 12 times to earn Top-10 starting position in A-Feature events. His best finish of the season came at Tri-State Speedway in Indiana in April, when he was fourth. He also finished fifth in the finale at Skagit Speedway in Washington during the Gold Rush Tour. Each time he climbed into the car, Campbell gained confidence, and he also felt very comfortable off the track with his fellow competitors.
"When you race with these guys 90 times a year, you have to get to know them," he explained. "Everyone knows everyone out here and to me it's like a big high school."
After attending the annual World of Outlaws Night of Champions in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 5, Campbell returned to the Midwest to get one more race in before returning home for the winter. He competed in the first-ever 'Foothills Fury' at Skyline Speedway in Ohio, finishing second. With the 2008 season quickly approaching, Campbell and his team will try to mix in some relaxation with the work they have waiting for them at the shop.
"We'll hang out for a while and disassemble some of our stuff," he said. "Then we'll start to get things ready for next year."
The 2008 World of Outlaws season begins on February 8 with the 37th Annual Florida DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.
Up Next: 2007 World of Outlaws Season Review: Chad Kemenah