Muscle Milk TWMX Race Series Profile: Johnny Campbell

Johnny Campbell, 42
San Clemente, CA
Sponsors: JCR Honda, Rockstar, Lucas Oil, Fly Racing, Dragon Goggles
Baja legend Johnny Campbell came out to the opening round of the 2014 Muscle Milk TWMX Winter Cup round to test his skills on a motocross track.  While Campbell’s storied career include 11 Baja 1000 wins and a multitude of desert racing championships, it is clear that riders with that amount of talent and crossover those skills over into other disciplines of motorcycle racing. 
What brings you out to the Transworld MX race today?
My son got into motocross last year and he is racing the Supermini and the Open 85 classes on a CRF150R, and when he was looking for a series to do for the next year, and this one came up so we decided to come out and start the series.  I decided to ride 40+ Expert also, even though I don’t ride much motocross at all.  I did race Mammoth last year, but I think I only did two motocross races last year.  Since my son is riding, I figured I would throw a leg over a bike and start getting back into shape. 
Did your son pick up motorcycle racing on his own or is it something you helped influence?
He was introduced to motorcycles at an early age just because of my career and also my team, so he is around it all the time.  No matter how much I tried to get him into surfing or whatever, his passion is dirtbikes and now he’s got a big interest in motocross in the last year or so.  It’s fun to come out and race and do some laps.
Now that you’re retired, do you miss the competitive aspect of racing?
I miss having a body that heals quickly and you feel invincible, that’s what I miss! 
Being a team owner and having to conduct the day to day operations, how often do you get a chance to ride?
I get to ride a couple times a month, or every once in a while when we go testing with the team and they need to evaluate something I will throw a leg over a bike.  Also I do some tours in Baja with Cameron Steele and the Desert Assassins.  A couple times a year we host a couple rides, one is the Baja Beach Bash which is a charity for an orphanage in San Vincente and also we do the Rip to Cabo, which is a well known television show now.
How do the skills from racing desert and Baja cross over to motocross for you?
There’s quite a bit of difference that you have to get used to since motocross is a sprint race.  You have to get going real quick, where an endurance race you have to pace yourself and plan a strategy for the duration of the race like the Baja 1000.  In motocross you don’t have much strategy except to get out there and get in front quick because the race is so short.  At 5-8 laps, it is quite a bit different than doing a 20 hour race.  
As a team owner, you watch over your racers as their manager.  How does that compare with watching over your own son now that he is racing?
I am a little scared for him, I know what can happen since I’ve been there.  It is a little nerve wracking but he is a good and cautious rider, he rides within his limits and is very skilled on the bike and very confident.
Would you encourage him to move into the offroad racing or let him stay in motocross?
I will let him go where his passion is.  If he wants to to go offroad racing, then great, but I like the motocross aspect as well since it is something different that what I’ve done all my life.  I enjoy it, we are having a great time.
What are your team plans for the next year?  In light of recent events, will there be any changes?
We are actually still in negotiations for a couple different options, but right now I can’t say what we are doing since there are too many unknowns at the moment.  I don’t have anything in order and signed yet so I don’t want to let that out yet.