Campbell family now set to race on Nitto Grapplers
Nitto Tire raised eyebrows in the hard-core off-road community at the 2015 Nitto King of the Hammers driver’s drawing party. On January 9, Campbell Enterprises announced their new tire sponsor: Shannon, Wayland and Bailey Campbell will campaign Nitto Trail Grappler tires.
The Campbells, led by legendary driver Shannon Campbell, are the first family of rocksports. Shannon Campbell has racked up wins in most of the major rock competitions in the U.S. and abroad. This legacy of excellence has been passed to Shannon and Tammy Campbells’ kids, Wayland and Bailey, who have been exposed to recreational four-wheeling and rock-crawl/race competitions since birth.
“Our new relationship with Nitto Tire will give us another competitive edge,” Shannon Campbell said. “At this stage of the game, we’re interested in the best products for our vehicles. Wayland, Bailey and I recently tested a variety of different tires on our trail rigs. The Nitto Trail Grapplers gave us the best all-around traction on our Jeeps. What really sold us was when we swapped on the Grapplers for a race-buggy dyno run and picked up 70 horsepower. We ran it multiple times to make sure the dyno wasn’t glitching. The reality was that the Nittos hold their shape better at speed, so we’re actually getting significantly less aerodynamic drag now.”
Wayland Campbell, now in his fifth year of competition, added: “My dad is obviously my biggest influence, but I inherited his competitive spirit. My ultimate goal is for him, me and Bailey to be on podiums together – with me in the middle. Nitto Grappler tires and overall team support will help us achieve that goal.”
High-school senior Bailey Campbell photographed Campbell Racing’s triumphs before entering her first race in 2013. With two podiums to date, she is anticipating even greater success in 2015.
“The Nittos really stood out during our testing,” Bailey Campbell says. “On Nitto Trail Grapplers, I was able to crawl up a waterfall that others on different brands had to winch up. That waterfall was similar to some Ultra4 obstacles, so the extra Grappler traction should save a lot of time on the race course.”
Nitto Tire USA Events & Motorsports Manager Chris Corbett added, “Nitto is extremely honored to have the entire Campbell Enterprises family join our team. No one in rocksports has more credibility or overall wins than Shannon Campbell. It’s a massive compliment to our Nitto product quality that a racer who was pursued by several tire companies, each with their best product offerings, chose Nitto. Nitto Tire is looking forward to a long relationship with Shannon, Wayland, Bailey and team manager Tammy Campbell in Ultra4 and other series. Feedback from the Campbells will be invaluable as rocksports progress and Nitto engineers constantly strive to create the ultimate tires for driving enthusiasts. The Campbells are not only incredible ambassadors for Nitto Tire, they are as passionate and committed as Nitto is to rocksports. We are confident our tires will have the entire Campbell team seeing many more checkered flags being flown this season and beyond. They are a welcome addition to the entire Nitto Team!”
Shannon Campbell has been the rock-racing front-runner for nearly 20 years. He was first exposed to extreme 4x4s in high school through custom-Jeep trend-setters Rick Péwé and Ned “Killer Bee” Bacon. In 1996, Shannon won one of the first national “tough trail rig” events, the Four Wheeler Top Truck Challenge, in his highly modified “Pinky” flatfender Jeep. Publicity from that victory kick-started Campbell Enterprises, a full-service fabrication shop headquartered in Gilbert, Arizona, and the home of Campbell Racing.
Over the past two decades, Shannon Campbell has won series and national championships in UROC, W.E. Rock, XRRA and Ultra4. He has also competed in ProRock, ARCA, Dirt Riot and Best in the Desert. High-profile wins include being crowned “King” of King of the Hammers in 2008 and 2011, plus victories at the 2011 and 2012 JRCA Rockcrawl in Japan. Shannon Campbell’s other honors included being named 2005 DirtSports magazine Driver of the Year and 2013 Ultra4 Sportsman of the Year. Technologically, Shannon Campbell/Campbell Enterprises pioneered the single-seat/IFS buggy configuration for Ultra4 competition, among other breakthroughs.
The Campbell family solidifies Nitto’s stable of series-leading Ultra4 drivers. The team includes 2014 King of the Hammers “King” and series points winner Loren Healy, 2012 “King” Erik Miller, 2009 “King” Jason Scherer, 2012 Series Champion Nick Nelson, 2014 4600 Vegas to Reno winner Mel Wade, 2013 Ultra4 Rausch Creek winner Derek West, Australian driver Ben Napier, 2013 Ultra4 series 3rd place finisher Jason Blanton, 2014 Ultra4 4400 Class Rookie of the Year Mike Bou and 2013 ADRA champion Jeremy Hammer.