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Local driver Justin Campbell races to the top

Zebulon High School senior Justin Campbell, 17, has made a name for himself on the short track and is looking to win races driving the #6 Max Siegel Inc. Chevrolet in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series this year. At the end of 2022, he took part in the Advance Auto Parts Drive for Diversity Combine in Charlotte, NC for the third time.

“This is our student and his character is as fabulous as his driving,” said Melanie Smith. “This student is amazing! He is going places, and I am so glad he was in my class. He has quite an awesome family as well!”

To take part in the Advance Auto Parts Drive for Diversity Combine, drivers from around the world went through a rigorous selection process and were evaluated by judges from across the NASCAR industry. Each participant was assessed in different areas from physical fitness and on-track performance to media and marketing skills. Justin was one of eight racers from across the globe selected for the program.

“It’s always great to see our small town make headlines for students signing for football, baseball, cheerleading, basketball but NASCAR, wow! He was one out of eight picked from all over the U.S. and beyond. This is amazing!” said Mellisa Anderson Eck.

Justin was one of 13 kids chosen to test for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity combine and was one of only eight racers who actually made it to the three-day event in November 2022.
Racing is nothing new for Justin who has been in love with driving since he was barely able to walk, much less drive.

“His love for racing started at the age of one, with the movie Cars,” said his mother Felicia Bogan-Campbell. “All he wanted was anything with wheels. Eventually, his dad took him to his first race at AMS around age 5. Ever since, racing is all he ever wanted to do.”

Justin started racing Bandoleros at age 9 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and never gave up on his dream of being a racecar driver.

“I’d like to thank my parents for believing in me and Max Siegel for giving me this opportunity to live his dream. I’d also like to thank Mrs Connie Tyler, my first teacher at Head Start. She always told me I can be anything I want to be as long as I believed in myself. She encouraged me from day one. Mrs. Marla Becky-Larson, my Zebulon High teacher and advisor became an instant fan and supporter. She constantly gave me support and always encouraged me to stay positive,” said Justin. “I hope to be able to open up a community center here for kids one day so kids can have a place to go and be themselves. Hopefully there will be more people like Mrs. Tyler and Mrs. Beck-Larson who will encourage and support kids to follow their dreams and to be the best they can be in life.”

Not only has Justin made a name for himself for his skills behind the wheel, but he was recently honored with the 2022 Drive for Diabetes Awareness Sportsmen Award. Over the summer during a Legend car NASCAR All Star Race in Atlanta, Lacy Kuehl was involved in an accident 10 laps into the race. Her front fender was hanging off and no one was in the pits to help her. Justin saw her waiting and ran over to take off the hanging fender so she could get back on the track. She went from last of 20 to finish fifth.

“Justin, you are what this sport needs,” said the award presentation.

He started his season in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series with a sixth place finish over the weekend.

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