Stepping Into The Limelight
Wayland Campbell Is On The Pedal
Story By: Cody Carney
Photos By: Brandon Bunch
Synonymous with big racing trucks, the Campbell name has always bolstered success in off-road racing. In recent years, those successes have extended into the UTV class. Following these successes and stepping into limelight made by his own achievements, is Wayland Campbell. Wayland, who resides in Gilbert, Arizona, traveled over to Johnson Valley, California, to compete in the 2020 Nitto King of the Hammers UTV and 4400 Class races. The night prior to the UTV qualifying race, the UTV Sports Magazine crew headed over to the Campbell Racing tent to find out more about Wayland, his focus, and what his plans are for the future.
Now, we already mentioned the adaptation of the UTV to the Campbell name. To dig a little deeper, we asked Wayland, What about the UTV do you like and why are you racing them versus JUST the big stuff?
Wayland: “To me, the thing I like most about racing the UTVs is that it’s the closest we’ll ever get to racing our big cars. By that, I mean our Campbell designed specific cars. They are mid-engine and they handle differently than a lot of the other cars do here. For us, it’s fun to be able to race that stuff. It’s not nearly as much maintenance nor do the parts cost nearly as much.”
While speaking with Wayland, we learned that he is not just the average joe. He knows exactly how much work is put into his cars. That’s because apart from actually being behind the wheel, he utilizes the skills that his father, Shannon Campbell, had bestowed to him to really push himself to take things to the next level. Not only does he support his family both in their business and racing, but he also pushes to do things his own way at home and on the course.
Wayland: “A day in the life for me is I wake up, I have an 8 to 5 job that’s away from our family business. I’m still fabbing and welding, stuff like that. Similar to what we do at Campbell. I go there during the day and as soon as I get off work I go straight to the family shop at night. I do my night shift there and work on the race cars and basically anything else that needs to be done there. Growing up and being around all this stuff, I’ve learned so much and I have so much respect for my dad, how he handles things and how good of a driver he is. In my eyes, there is nobody better. He’s just one of those people that can hop into anything and just drive the wheels off of it. He set me up for success and now I’ve tried to create my own name for myself and cast my own shadow.”
Wayland aspires to prove himself in succeeding the Campbell name by doing things in his own manner, and as what happens to all families, spending too much time together causes high tension. Even so, the Campbells get things done and when it comes down to it, everything comes together flawlessly. Between Wayland and his sister Bailey, they like to do things a little differently. Bailey is more of what you call a bold driver right from the get-go, where Wayland is more reserved. He likes to gradually push himself in a race.
Wayland: “Between Bailey and I, I don’t know who’s the better driver. We all have our quirks. She’s a lot more aggressive than I am for sure. I’m pretty laid back. I like to finish and you can’t win if you don’t finish. As each lap progresses, I usually try to push myself a little bit more, but you know, I’m really lucky to be able to do this with my family because a lot of people don’t get to experience something like this.”
We’ll have to find out which Campbell tactic is going to best the other as we see Wayland take on more competition in coming races. As for the kind of competition he will be facing, we had a few more questions ourselves… You’re already in the elite class and you’re running UTVs, where do you see this whole deal going? Do you want to race trophy trucks in Baja or do you want to continue the rock stuff? What does your future hold?
Wayland: “I have this thing I’ve always wanted to do, it’s kind of like a bucket list. I just want to be able to race everything I can get my hands on. It can be dirtbikes, trophy trucks, or even rally cars. I just want to try everything. I’m trying to hop into a trophy truck this year, somehow. I’m trying to make stuff happen.”
It’s confirmed, Wayland won’t be stepping out of the limelight any time soon. It’s been a huge adjustment for Wayland, as far as taking long nights, putting in work to keep sponsors happy, and being away from his son of 8 months at such an attentive age, but with a super supportive girlfriend and family, Wayland says that all the stress is worth it in the end. His hopes are that one day his son will want to join in on the fun.
Wayland: “My son is coming out here so this will be the first event he’s ever been around. I’d like to get him started early into something. Things progress and there’s a new class made every year. Who knows when he’ll start in, but he’ll definitely be racing something.”