Catching up with Damion Campbell & his 1963 Pontiac LeMans


For many drivers, taking a shot at a qualifying event for the OPTIMA┬« Ultimate Street Car Invitational, presented by Royal Purple and KN Filters, involves a mad scramble to get a car put together and sorted out in time to hit the track.  Damion Campbell and his 1963 Pontiac LeMans were probably no exception in that regard. However, Damion and his car were actually selected to compete in the 2013 OUSCI at the conclusion of the OPTIMA Faceoff event at Road America last month.

We've watched past OUSCI competitors take all different paths to the OUSCI once they qualified, from doing absolutely nothing to their cars, to completely re-building them and everything in between. With that in mind, we asked Damion what he had in store for the rest of his summer.  We weren't at all surprised to hear how busy Campbell had been since we saw him at Road America.

Earlier this month, Damion headed over to the Goodguys event in Des Moines, where he finished sixth overall in the autocross Street Machine class. That event was also a qualifier for the 2013 OUSCI, so we suspect Damion had it on his calendar already, trying to increase his chances of getting into the OUSCI.  Just last weekend, Campbell headed to Ohio, not for the Goodguys PPG Nationals, but for the Popular Hot Rodding Magazine Muscle Car of the Year competition.

Campbell had a solid day, as he took seventh place in the 14-car field in both the drag racing and speed/stop events and third place in the autocross competition.  Next up on Campbell's calendar is a trip to the Car Craft Summer Nationals in Minnesota, where he expects to compete in the Real Street Eliminator competition.  Beyond that, Damion doesn't have any concrete plans before SEMA and the 2013 OUSCI.

We suspect once the dust settles from his summer competitions, that Campbell might take a closer look at his Poncho and make sure it is in tip-top shape for SEMA and the OUSCI, from the AMS Racing-built 530-horsepower 383 to the Ridetech suspension and Rushforth wheels.  All eyes of the automotive aftermarket will be squarely focused on his ride come November.  If you don't get a chance to see Damion's ride in person this summer, look for it in an issue of Popular Hot Rodding later this year. Of course, you can also buy a ticket to the 2013 OUSCI, but do it soon, because less than 800 tickets remain and this event always sells out.