Spotlight on Shannon Campbell

“All Hail the King!”

Photo’s provided by; SirMarlon Photography,Thomas Kingston,, Panda Propaganda

The Campbell family has a well documented history of excellence in Rocksports. Few families can boast the success they have had in building vehicles, racing, and Rockcrawling. It is truly a family affair, and that rings true in how they present themselves. Don Campbell must be proud of his family, and how they have dominated our industry. It was not always a story of large corporate sponsorship, with Campbell struggling to find the right balance of vehicle in the early days of Professional Rock Crawling, but there was one thing for sure, a Campbell built buggy would be a crowd pleasing favorite with its outside thinking and liberal use of the right pedal. Most of that story has already been told, so we are going to point out another side of the Campbell family today, the side that fosters the growth of our sport through personal investment.

The humble Shannon Campbell often times gives that awe shucks smile and down plays his wins, but he will fully invest in a conversation with a teenager who is looking for advice on how to be a race car driver, fabricator, or just a black sharpie meeting the fabric of a hat, T-shirt, or poster. Shannon had no second thoughts about throwing Levi Shirley the keys to his Rock Racers which lead to a win in XRRA, often invests in his son Waylon’s growth in Rock Crawling, and even made the day of the 14 year old son of a promoter who Shannon learned had built a samurai from a box of parts by letting him drive his KOH winning car at full speed across the desert.

It is no wonder that Shannon Campbell has been listed as many Ultra4 drivers Hero. He races to win, and you can be assured he will race on the raged edge. He will either win or break his “Junk” beyond repair. His sportsmanship for some, could be considered at times questionable, such as the 2009 DQ in which he refused to give up and kept racing, or the driving over Will Carter’s shock incident, But Shannon Campbell will help any racer who needs help in the pit, and has been seen spotting others through obstacles while he attempts to free his single seat buggy, such as this years Stampede event in Reno. The Campbell family has been known to make phone calls to sponsors or loan parts to help other drivers get back in the race.  There is no doubt the crown will see a host of suitors attempting to steal it from the head of Shannon Campbell this February, and I am pretty sure he would have it no other way.

How long have you been competing in Ultra 4 Racing?

I have been competing in Ultra4 since 2008.

How long have you been racing?


Tell us about your past experiences in the King of the Hammers and where you have finished?

2008 was my first time at Johnson Valley.  I drew the last starting position. Most everyone thought there was no way you could win unless you started in the top 10.  I had a great day and crossed the finishline 1st!  In 2009 I built the IFS car.  Still in the testing stages I put it to the test and had some tranny issues and finished with a DNF.   Hoping that all the bugs were worked out in 2010 I once again had a rear start and had caught most of the field until I knocked it out of 4wd and burned up the tranny. My crew changed it out and I still finished in 18th position.  The 2011 KOH all just came together and my dream of taking the crown back came true.

What’s the attraction to racing of King of the Hammers for you?

The attraction is that I get to race with 100 of the best drivers.

What’s your favorite part of the King of the Hammers?

My favorite part of KOH is meeting new people and making life long friends.

How do you physically and mentally prepare for this type of racing?

I don’t really do much to prepare myself its more to just get everything prepped perfectly.

Teamwork is a big part of KOH, Tell us about your team for the King of the Hammers?

My team consists of family, friends and sometimes people I don’t even know (yet)!  I am very fortunate to be surrounded by such a great group that knows what I want and need during a race.  I couldn’t do it without them.

How much does strategy play a part in KOH?


 What will it take to win the King of the Hammers in 2012?

For me it will be that 99% luck!

How much does a car vs. a drivers ability play into winning the King of the Hammers?

Not work friendly on this video.

If you had the opportunity to participate in any race in the world, what would it be and why?

I would pick the Dakar-It’s a huge race and something I have never done.

Who is your racing idol and why?

I don’t really have a racing idol-I look up to the people who have worked hard and used their skills to get to the top.

If you had an unlimited budget what would you build to compete in the King of the Hammers?

I would build an updated version of what I already have!

Do you have any advice to give someone who is aspiring to race the King of the Hammers?

Be prepared! Anything that can happen will happen. It’s the smallest things that will take you out.

Prep, Prep, Prep!

Can you tell us about the sponsors and people that have made it possible for you to do this?

My sponsors play a huge role in my racing,  some of them have been with me since I started competing.  They have supported me with all my racing habits.  Sometimes I’m even the test dummy.

Monster Energy, Goodyear Tires, Currie Enterprises, ARB, Advance Adapters, Howe Performance, TurnKey Engine, Hughes Performance, Fox Shox, Ron Davis Racing Products, Dynomax Performance Exhaust, Walker Evans Racing Wheels, Warn, Mastercraft Safety, ProAm Racing, Powertank, Arizona Driveshaft, Motive Gear, Southwest Ground Control.


Driver name: Shannon Campbell                                                Co-Driver Name: None

Team Name  Team Monster Energy                                            Car # 5AZ

Age: 41                                                                                          Hometown: Gilbert, Az

Chassis Builder: Campbell Ent. Custom Fabrication                   Engine:  TurnKey/LS3

Transmission:    Hughes Performance/Turbo 350          T-case:  Advance Adapters/Atlas 3.0

Front:  Designed by ProAm Racing                                             Lockers F/R:  ARB

Rear Axle:  Currie 9”                                                                          Steering:   Howe Performance

Seats:   Mastercraft Safety                                                           Shocks:  Fox Shox

Tires:  Goodyear Tires                                                                  Wheels:  Walker Evans Racing Wheels

Radiator:   Ron Davis Racing Products

About the Author

Jeff Knoll is the former Event Director for the King of the Hammers event. He has raced various classes in SCORE, BITD, MORE, and MDR. Following the California 200, Knoll travelled to Washington, DC to meet with BLM officials regarding the Special Recreation Permit policies of the BLM. Knoll serves on the BLM’s Desert Advisory Sub-Committee regarding Special Recreation Permits. Knoll also drafted language for Nevada’s Senate Bill 156 in 2011 regarding action sports safety.

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