Bailey Campbell Is Ready For Anything
Story By: Cody Carney
Photos By: Brandon Bunch
To play with the big boys takes a special kind of tenacity, and for many aspiring racers, it is a catalyst toward getting into the dirt. There have been a plethora of people jumping into races to prove themselves worthy of doing so, and what’s even more astounding is seeing a fair amount of those participants being female racers who are willing to compete in a male-dominant sport. One particular racer that continues to prove she isn’t afraid of duking it out with the top athletes in motorsports is Bailey Campbell of Gilbert, Arizona.
Bailey is no stranger to big endeavors. She began her off-road racing and rock crawling career with the W.E. Rock Crawling Series, transitioned to the Dirt Riot Series, later became the first and youngest female to compete in the King of the Hammers, and on February 5th, 2016, officially became the first female driver to finish the King of the Hammers in the elite 4400 class—all great milestones to continue an off-road life which had taken off at a very young age.
Bailey: “When I was about 8 years old, my dad and I would go out on trail rides in our old rock crawlers. Back then, they never thought I would get into anything like this. Then, they put my brother into competition at the W.E. Rock Crawling Series. So with my dad and my brother, I was in the shop helping pack up parts and stuff and then I realized I was learning what these parts were and where they went on the cars and how I could work on the cars myself. I was like, ‘I can do this. Why am I not racing? Why am I not in competitions?’ My dad goes, ‘well, you want to try it?’ It just kinda took off from there.”
Nowadays, you will find Bailey working for the family fabrication shop Campbell Enterprises, along with racing full-time. In the past, Bailey did have other aspirations, as she went to school to do engineering or photography. She didn’t end up pursuing either all the way, so, she went back to wrenching and racing, but now she competes both in the 4400 and UTV classes. With such a difference in the cars that compete in these two classes, we asked, What’s the UTV like compared to the big car and where do you see it all going? Do you guys ever see yourselves getting rid of the big cars and just sticking to the UTVs or is this just a pre-runner thing to go have fun and get serious later?
Bailey: “It’s amazing how close the UTV and the 4400 cars can be in comparison. The UTVs are a little bit smaller, so they can fit through the tighter rock sections, and it’s amazing what they can do compared to our bigger cars. If anything, I don’t think we’d ever get rid of our 4400 cars. We’d end up building a trophy truck or something. We definitely wouldn’t ever get rid of our UTVs because those are our toys. We go out every weekend if we can, out to Florence, Az, or next to our home town in Gilbert. They have the best rock trails and desert areas for trail riding. I think we would keep every single kind of car if we could just to enjoy them all. We’re always taking the next step forward for each one.”
Speaking of the next step forward, we also want to give Bailey a big congratulations on getting married last year. She moved into her own house and is living what she considers the highlight of her life. Bailey says she’s content with what she has planned for 2020. The race schedule is a little more mellow with only running a few races for the year, but she is ready for anything that will take her career to the next level.