Todd Campbell’s season has not been a mirror to his 2011 rookie campaign, but the OSCAAR Super Late Model sophomore has still experienced success in 2012. With a fresh mindset and an improved, goal-oriented program for his second OSCAAR season, Campbell has begun challenging for a top-finish every night.
“A little different focus (from last year), we’re hoping to step things up. We aim at having top-five’s every night, learn from everything we did last year and better everything a little bit every night,” said Campbell.
Campbell entered OSCAAR as a former Grisdale Triple Crown and Flamboro Speedway Track Champion looking for a new challenge. Campbell faced a difficult challenge in his inaugural campaign as he had not competed at a handful of the tracks on the OSCAAR schedule. The Guelph, ON native was up for the challenge as he won the 2011 Inside Track Rookie-of-the-Year title and will use the experience to his advantage this season.
“We changed the car a bit over the winter. Going in to the races this year, we’ve been to everywhere before and can be a little more aggressive,” explained Campbell. “We can know what we’re getting in to when we show up at the racetrack.”
The start of the 2012 season wasn’t quite as planned for the #07 team as a spin on opening night at Sunset Speedway derailed a top-ten effort. That night emphasized to Campbell the importance of running clean and at the front of the field.
“We need to stay out of the crashes. We got spun out on the first night and that put us at the back. We just never had time to get back to the front,” said Campbell. “(If we) work on things a little better and get better starting positions, I think we’ll have a chance to be up in the top-five.”
Despite finishing in the top-five in OSCAAR points in 2011, Campbell never secured a top-five finish that eluded him for much of the season. A week before heading north to Sauble Speedway, Campbell believed ‘the beach’ would provide one of his best opportunities to finish at the front.
Sauble would be one of them. We ran really good there last year. I think we could probably pull-off a top-three. Maybe with a bit of luck, a win up there.”
The elusive first top-five finish came in the fourth race of the season at Sauble where Campbell finished fourth after running as high as third and vying for the runner-up spot before falling to his eventual finishing spot on the last lap. Nonetheless, Campbell was very excited about the strong result.
“It feels real good. I thought we might get second at the end there, but just kind of ran out of room coming off two and got up in the wall. Held on to her for fourth, but I’m pretty happy,” said Campbell following the July 7th race.
After accomplishing their goal of a top-five finish, Campbell is prepared to now challenge for an OSCAAR feature win. But, wins do not come easy in Canada’s fastest full-bodied stock car division. Especially not in a division as talent-laden as the OSCAAR Super Late Models. Regardless, don’t expect the second generation pilot to back down from the challenge. He certainly didn’t back away in his rookie campaign and a win is certainly within the realm of possibility for the Campbell’s Sanitation/Remax – Deb Olender team, given the right circumstances.
Campbell may be the face behind the wheel of the #07, but an impressive support staff backs the car at each event, including Todd’s father and retired late model veteran Bernie Campbell. Without the crew, Campbell is sure none of the success would be possible.
“I couldn’t be here without my dad and my crew, Campbell’s Sanitation and Remax with Deb Olender. She helps us out a lot and her husband helps us on the car. I couldn’t be here without all the crew guys and all the help,” explained the thankful driver.
Campbell and the rest of the #07 team are as focused as ever with one race remaining on the first half of the 2012 schedule. Expect to see a lot more of Campbell at the front of the field over the final seven races on tour with some of the biggest dates still to come.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)