Bailey Campbell was the first woman in the 4400 class of Ultra4 to lead King of the Hammers. Her racing DNA runs deep with father Shannon and brother Wayland, with mother Tammy providing the glue to keep Campbell Enterprises fortified.
Bailey’s father Shannon is an Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee and two-time King of the Hammers winner. It makes sense that her favorite race, then, is KOH, and her favorite part of the Hammers race itself is the super technical rock crawling. Getting out of the situations you don’t want to be in is kind of her specialty.
Bailey started racing in rock crawling competitions at age 15. She got into her first fast car race at age 16, and her career took off. Since then, she’s regularly placed alongside the top drivers in the sport, finishing eighth in the Ultra4 National Point Series for 2015. In 2016, she came in fifth in the King of the Hammers race, placing just behind her own father. She was just 19 years old.
“I had no interest in really getting into a car, driving it at all,” Bailey says. “Then I saw my brother finally get into rock crawling and it kind of ticked the jealousy in myself and I wanted to get in it too. My dad hooked me up with rock crawling first because he believed that was the fundamentals of starting out driving in off-road basically.
“Throttle control, learning, where you should put your tires, how to winch out of things. That was our big learning curve when we were younger and he wanted us to consume all of that before we got into anything fast paced.”
For the past nine years, Bailey has been competing in a male dominated sport and climbing the ranks of rock crawling’s elite races. She has shown tremendous determination and dedication to both helping the family race team and to taking her own program to the next level. The last two seasons Bailey has stepped up. Taking podium finishes, Hard Charger Awards, and becoming the first woman in the 4400 class of Ultra4 to lead King of the Hammers.
Bailey is laser focused on advancing her racing career. Blowing people away with her aggressive driving style, and never give up attitude, but it’s her love of the sport and her growing family that keeps her motivated.
“It’s pretty awesome having them interested in the stuff I’m doing,” Shannon adds. “I think while they were little kids and I started sticking them in cars and it was kind of babysitters. I’d let them just cruise around while we were out doing stuff and having fun.
“Then as they got a little older, Wayland was first and Bailey was watching him. I was thinking, ‘She just wants to do it just because she sees all the limelight or whatever.’ We put her in a car and she didn’t know how to work on it or anything, but Wayland was like, ‘Dad I always got to work on her stuff.’
“Now it’s the other way around. Now she shows him what to do almost. It’s pretty funny. She’s learned a lot and she works way harder than most guys that I know to get there.”
“I started doing it when I was about 15-years-old and my first rock crawling competition my dad was my spotter,” Bailey adds. “That was really fun for me. Then my brother started co-driving with me and my uncle started to be my spotter. Now my husband’s my co-driver. We kind of just made it a whole family affair and started doing it together.
“I think my dad really enjoyed that too because now we were all at the shop. Starting to work on things together and it just kind of gave us all a bond. Made us feel like we had something in common. Something we were all good at and I really love that.”
“I’ve been with FOX from the beginning of my racing career. I couldn’t even tell you when my dad signed with them because it’s just been that long. That’s who I started with and I won’t switch to anything else because I know that whatever they come out with next is just going to be that much better.
“With Ultra4 Racing, a shock tuning is probably the most important thing especially when we’re headed out to King of the Hammers. You have to work with the suspension to be capable in the rocks as well as the desert.”
“We’re working with ride height, the right spring rates, the right valving. I know we drive FOX crazy with all of that (laughs), but it becomes a major component to our driving abilities and being successful out there.
“Suspension’s probably the most important thing in off-road besides just having something that runs. If you never had anyone tune a shock, or drove one that wasn’t tuned I mean, from the time that I’ve started to now, you feel like you’re sitting on your couch. That’s how good it is.”
“When you know how to work on a shock and you got at the good shock and yeah, just pretty proud to be with FOX. They got it figured out.”
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