Jim Campbell to Serve as Honorary Chairman at Induction Ceremony
DETROIT (August 24, 2012) – Jim Campbell, General Motors US Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, will serve as the Honorary Chairman of next Wednesday's 24th Annual Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Induction Ceremony at the historic Fillmore Theater in downtown Detroit.
As Honorary Chairman, Campbell will preside over the formal black-tie ceremony and deliver the evening's keynote address prior to the official inductions of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America's 2012 class. This year's list of motorsports legends that will be enshrined into the Hall includes sports car racing champion and five-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Derek Bell, popular NASCAR "Alabama Gang" driver Neil Bonnett, motorsports pioneer Pop Dreyer, high-performance innovator Vic Edelbrock, Sr., motocross and supercross champion Ricky Johnson, ace engine builder Ed Pink and IndyCar champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Danny Sullivan.
In his current position, Campbell is responsible for integrating the engineering and marketing of performance versions of current production models in addition to all motorsports activities.
"I've always loved high-performance cars and the link to racing," Campbell said. "I've had the opportunity for many, many years to be part of terrific race programs that won key races and won many manufacturers' and drivers' championships and I am very proud to go to work every day."
Campbell has been interested in racing and performance vehicles for as long as he can remember.
"My interest in performance cars and racing started when I was a kid," Campbell said. "I've always loved Corvettes and Camaros."
Campbell turned that love into a career when he joined General Motors as an intern in 1987. By 1999 he was the brand manager for Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro. It was in that role that Campbell was part of the team that started the Corvette Racing program, which competes in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and has since won its class in the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans seven times.
"Chevrolet has one of the widest portfolios in racing programs in the automotive industry, particularly in North America, and we're one of the winningest brands in terms of race wins, manufacturers' championships and drivers' championships," Campbell said.
Campbell and his team more recently brought Chevrolet back into Indy car racing. The Chevrolet IndyCar V6 2.2 liter direct injected twin turbo charged purpose built racing engine won eight of the first 12 races in 2012. Chevrolet currently leads both the manufacturers' and driver standings.
This season also marked the debut of the highly anticipated Corvette Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. The Corvette Daytona Prototype has earned six wins, so far, in its first season of competition.
The 2012 season also saw the introduction of the COPO Camaro that competes in the NHRA Stock Eliminator classes.
In addition, Campbell oversees a NASCAR program that has won 35 manufacturer's championships and each of the last seven driver championships.
Jimmie Johnson was at the wheel of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet for five of those seven NASCAR driver championships and will be among the past and present legends in attendance at Wednesday's Induction gala. Johnson will present AMA Supercross and Motocross legend Ricky Johnson for induction in the Motorcycle category. The two are unrelated but, in addition to last names, share a friendship that was established in their youthful California off-road racing days.
Other motorsports "star power" scheduled to attend includes drag racing icon and Hall member Don Prudhomme (Class of 1991), who will enshrine Pink, and NASCAR legend Bobby Allison (Class of 1992) who will have the honor of inducting Bonnett. Another NASCAR legend serving as a presenter will be Leonard Wood, a Hall member enshrined with his brother Glen Wood in 2000, who will induct Edelbrock.
Bell will be presented to the Hall by his son and fellow Sports Car World Champion Justin Bell, who is also well known today as a television reporter on SPEED and host of the World's Fastest Car Show on eBay Motors and eBay Mobile.
Additional Hall members and other notables scheduled to attend next Wednesday's ceremony include Donnie Allison, Tom D'Eath, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Paul Goldsmith, Hurley Haywood, Mel Kenyon, Jim McGee, Hershel McGriff, Leo Mehl, Shirley Muldowney, Scott Parker, Dennis Reinbold, Bill Simpson, Jay Springsteen, Bobby Unser and more.
Organizations supporting the Induction Ceremony include Pirelli North America, Bridgestone Americas, American Honda, Mazda, Chevrolet, Ford Racing, Edelbrock Corp., Toyota, NHRA, SPEED TV, Daytona International Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, NASCAR, SCCA, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, AMA Pro Racing, Porsche Cars North America, Bentley Motors, Ed Pink Racing Engines, Glenora Wine Cellars, One Source Talent, MotorCities National Heritage Area, Bonwell, Kelley & Associates and others.
Tickets for the 24th annual Motorsports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Wednesday, August 29, can be purchased by calling 248-349-RACE (7223) or at www.mshf.com. The evening's emcee will be former driver David Hobbs who is also now a popular reporter and host on SPEED and a 2009-inductee into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in the Sports Car category.
The Motorsports Museum & Hall of Fame is operated by the Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame of America Foundation Inc.