Last weekend, Colby Howard went to victory lane at Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL) in the Show Me the Money Series 100-lap event for Pro Late Models. While it was Howard’s first career win in a Pro Late Model, it was a continuation of success for the hottest team in Late Model racing.
Anthony Campi Racing has been nearly unstoppable over the past four months, dating back to the 2018 Snowflake 100. There, Chase Purdy piloted a Campi entry to victory in the prestigious Pro Late Model event at Five Flags Speedway.
Giovanni Bromante graduated to Super Late Models for 2019, and has started off his season with two wins in as many starts with the Southern Super Series, including a win in the Rattler 250 in his Super Late Model debut.
Meanwhile, Howard’s victory is the third for a Campi Pro Late Model in 2019. Sammy Smith claimed two wins in the Pro Late Model class at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL), earning the division’s championship.
While it has been a remarkable run for the team, Anthony Campi tells Speed51 it’s just a product of hard work and chemistry.
“It’s just a result of hard work and dedication,” Campi said. “I’ve had the same core crew for about three or four years now, the same guys going to the track. You go through your ups and downs but we’re just clicking on all cylinders. The kids are really understanding what they need to do, and the results are showing. It’s been a lot of hard work, and a lot of teaching the kids what they need to understand other than driving the cars fast.”
The success has come as a surprise at times even to Campi.
“Between Chase at the Snowflake winning, Sammy Smith with two wins and the championship at New Smyrna, and Gio with his debut Super starts, a lot of stuff was very unexpected,” he admitted. “But you give 100 percent, and 100 percent is showing fortunately. That was Colby Howard’s second Pro Late Model Start, and the first one at the Alabama 200, we blew a motor in practice and he had to get shoved out there on race day. We really didn’t get to work with him. This was really our first race with him where we got a clean weekend and it paid off.”
It was only a decade ago that Campi was also working his way up the ranks as a racer, looking to become a future star. He believes that having gone through the adjustments of climbing the ladder and still being fairly young at 28 years old makes him more relatable for his team of drivers.
“Most of these kids, I’m at least a decade older than, but it’s still a very close age gap compared to some other situations they could be in,” Campi said. “I’m still a kid at heart. I can still be immature when I want to be, too. These kids are 15, 16, 17 and I feel like I can still relate to their struggles and their new beginnings in Late Models because I was just there myself ten years ago. I can still vividly remember the struggles of going to a full-body car and figuring out what I needed to do make a successful weekend.
“The biggest thing is relating to them and figure out what their struggles are going to be before they even have them. And the more kids I work with, the better I get at relaying the message.”
Campi also believes some of the success comes from being able to devote their attention and resources to a small roster of drivers. Bromante will remain the team’s sole Super Late Model driver for 2019, with Howard competing in the Allen Turner Hyundai Pro Late Models at Five Flags Speedway and the Show Me the Money Series.
“Gio is our primary Super driver, and the only person in Supers,” Campi stated. “He’s going to finish out the Southern Super Series and hit-or-miss races like the Governor’s Cup and the Derby. Go to all the pretty big shows that he’s shown he’s capable of being at.
“Colby Howard is going to do the Pensacola and Montgomery Pro Late Model series. Those are the two main series down here in terms of competition and quality. We’ll work in Sammy when he’s available with his personal schedule, dabbling with him and looking at what we can do with him full-time next year.
“Our big thing that makes this successful is we don’t go to the track with two or three cars,” Campi concluded. “It’s either Colby or Gio or Sammy and that’s it. There’s one goal, one focus, everyone’s feeding their knowledge to one kid. I’m big on the quality over quantity.”
There has been no doubting the quality of Anthony Campi Racing to start 2019, and a large quantity of wins could follow.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo