Brian Campbell doesn’t play the guitar, but he has one sitting in his basement from when he won the 2008 All-American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN). He’s looking to bring home another guitar in a couple of weeks when he goes back to Nashville for the 30th annual running of one of the biggest short track races of the year.
“That was huge,” Campbell said of his 2008 win. “I don’t keep many trophies. I kind of donate them or leave them in the race shop of car owners. The guitar is in my house. I’ve got that stashed right in the basement. That was one of the ones that I’ve kept.”
Campbell said he’s only kept three trophies, and one of them isn’t even for a race win.
“I’ve got a Fast Time (award) from Kalamazoo Speedway (MI) years ago,” Campbell told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It was my first time ever getting fast time. It’s a big, sweet eagle.”
He also has a pair of boxing gloves from his win at the CRA Super Series Fall Brawl at Lucas Oil Raceway (IN) in 2012. Campbell said the gloves are hanging on the same hook as the Nashville guitar.
Campbell’s win at Nashville in 2008 came when the race was split. Drivers had a choice to run a Crate-powered Pro Late Model feature or a Super Late Model feature, but both were considered to be All-American 400 races.
Now in 2014 the race has been converted to a Pro Late Model race only; a move that has been considered controversial by many. But it’s a move that Campbell thinks will pay off.
“It’s going to be the same guys just with different engines,” he said. “You’re still going to get everybody involved that will ever go to that race with a Super Late. Now they’ll just throw the Crate motors in. So I think the racing will be exactly the same, just maybe a quarter-second slower with a Crate motor. That’s it.”
So will anybody notice a difference?
“Heck no,” he said. “We will. That’s it. No one (in the crowd) will know the difference.”
Campbell thinks the best thing about the switch to PLM’s over the Supers is that more local guys will be inclined to race because they’ll have a better chance at winning.
“There’s a huge local following at Nashville so all those guys get to come race and not have to be at a huge disadvantage,” he said. “So it’s really a best of both worlds type thing and I think it’s showing with the kind of car count that they’re expecting and what’s already been registered. It’s shaping up to be a great weekend and it’s a good choice by Nashville to do it.”
One would think that the local drivers would have an advantage. They race there every week. They know how the track changes throughout the year and how to adapt to the place. They have more laps there than just about anybody. But Campbell doesn’t think the drivers travelling to the race will be at much of a disadvantage.
“It’s going to be great competition from both sides,” he said. “The travelling guys and the local guys are going to put on one heck of a show.”
The All-American is going to be Campbell’s last race of the season. He and his team decided they will not be going down to Pensacola, Florida to run the Snowball Derby and instead to put “all of our eggs in this basket,” for Nashville.
He’s looking to get a second guitar to hang on the wall and he’s confident he can get the job done.
“I think they’re pretty damn good,” he said of his chances of winning. “We wouldn’t be going if they wouldn’t be good.”
Campbell never learned how to play his guitar. Maybe he’ll do that if he wins a second one. It would sure make his kids happy.
“I dust it off now and again and just look at it,” he said. “My kids always want me to get it down and play with it but I never let them.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Regional Editor (Long Island, CT and NJ) -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Feature Photo Credit: Speed51.com.