Jim Campbell is no stranger to the performance world. What began in 1987 working as a college intern at the Chevrolet in Warren, Michigan has led to his most recent role – U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. Campbell’s extensive background including, district sales roles, working with GM dealers, responsibility for GM’s fleet and Commercial Operations, and the certified used vehicle programs for the company has made him an easy candidate for having, quite literally, the coolest job around in the auto industry.
While following up various leads for other news and rumors, we stumbled upon Campbell’s interview with TheBLOCK.com in regards to his thoughts on Chevrolet’s upcoming 2013 race season. It was there we got comfortable, kicked up our feet and read through Campbell’s extensive history with performance vehicles like the Corvette and Camaro. Campbell’s even shown some deep roots in a variety of race series including NASCAR, American LeMans Series and Grand AM Racing.
In an effort to bring you just a little bit closer to your favorite automaker and to find out who and why it ticks, we’ve got Jim Campbell’s interview below. While we’ve included only a small sample of the interview, be sure to head on over to TheBLOCK.com for the rest of the interview.
What was the first race you ever attended and how old were you?
“When I was just a kid I went to the time trials at Indy Motor Speedway with my Dad. I was probably 6 or 7 years old. We went down with some friends and we all actually slept in a barn at this farmhouse on the outskirts of Indy. That was my first real exposure to racing, it was very exciting. And now to actually be involved in racing and have the opportunity to go back to the Indy Motor Speedway is a great honor.“
What are you most looking forward to this NASCAR season?
“First of all, Chevrolet had a dream season in 2012 with multiple championships on the manufacturer and driver levels. It’s exciting to have that momentum as we come in to the 2013 season. We’ve been hard at work preparing for this season, but we know our competition has been as well. We’re focusing on executing our plans with each of our race teams, quickly looking at what we need to do weekend-to-weekend to prove ourselves as we progress through the season. 2012 had a lot of exciting moments and championships, and we’re coming in to 2013 focused on our goal of winning championships again. NASCAR this year will be an incredible new chapter for Chevrolet, as we’ll be running the SS for the first time in a points race at the Daytona 500.”
“It was very exciting to reveal the SS production car at the Daytona International Speedway, and we’re excited for the SS to pace the Daytona 500 on Sunday. It will be great to see our SS production car, pace car and race car all at Daytona to kick off the NASCAR season. Our focus with the SS production and race cars is to increase the relevance of what we race on the track and what we sell in the show room. What we’ll race on the track is a fuel-injected, small-block, rear-wheel drive V8, and what we’ll sell in the showroom is a fuel-injected, small block, rear-wheel drive V8, making what we think is the most authentic connection between what we race on the track and sell in the showroom.”
“In addition, we’ll be running the Chevrolet Camaro for the first time in the Nationwide series and we’ll be pacing that race with a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, as well. We’ll also be pacing the Camping World truck series with a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado. So it’ll be great to see our production cars pacing races with their race car counterparts on the track.”
Unfortunately, we can’t copy the entire interview. However, all is not lost. To find out the the rest of the answers to these questions, follow the link here to get on over to TheBLOCK.com.
What is your daily routine like at the Daytona 500?
You mentioned increasing the relevance of what Chevrolet races on the track and sells in the showroom. Can you go a little deeper into how closely the development process of new production cars and race cars are related?
With the rest of race season in front of us, what else can Team Chevy fans look forward to in 2013?