by Bob Heyden
In celebration of John Campbell’s final drive at the Meadowlands tonight, here’s eight amazing facts about his career:
1. He has been driving at the same track for 40 straight years (Meadowlands 1978-2017)
2. In 1972, the year John Campbell was first active as a driver, 13 drivers with the last name Campbell participated: Carleton, Hartigan, Herbert, John, Joseph, Charles, Jr., Mike, Neil, Robert, Roderick, Sanford, Turner and Winston.
3. Among his records are his 140 times in the money in the Breeders Crown in 313 drives. His $22.5 million is also an all-time Breeders Crown mark.
4. Twice, he won the Meadowlands Pace from Post 10 — 1982 with Hilarion and 1999 with The Panderosa — and once almost denying a horse winning from post 10 — Beach Towel held on by a nostril over Jake And Elwood in 1990.
5. In 2010, he drove the Trotter of the Year Lucky Chucky and took a turn with the Pacer of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven while regular driver Daniel Dube was sidelined with an injury. Not bad at age 55.
6. He has 18 million-dollar wins at the Meadowlands alone.
7. He won his first time in the bike in the Hambletonian with Joie De Vie in his heat in 1983, then was fourth in the final as part of the favored entry.
8. In 41 years of competition at the Meadowlands, Campbell has won 16 titles, won a trotting event in 1:49.4 (J L Cruze), won the last two races at the old building, won seven straight drives on 2/2/83, was favored in the Hambletonian three straight years (87-88-89) and got money with all four of the females he drove in the Hambletonian (Britelite Lobell ($140,650), Peace Corps ($135,720), Armbro Keepsake ($111,320) and Act Of Grace ($25,000)).