Talking with Angelle Sampey on Sunday, you would not have guessed that she was in contention for the Pro Stock Motorcycle win in Thunder Valley.
She nervously met with fans, took pictures and signed posters as she spoke about wanting the event to be over. Once she climbed aboard her bike and pulled down her helmet, she became calm, relaxed and ready to perform.
She did exactly that by winning the Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway!
“I’ve been out here for so long, I've really learned to appreciate everything I get now,” Sampey said. “When I win a race, the emotions are 100 percent genuine because it’s a task to get it done. To get four round wins is really tough and it means so much to me. I love this sport so much and this team just works so hard. This mission was to catch back up in the points race and we made it happen. It was a fantastic day and it would be great to get the No. 1 back on the motorcycle.”
“It was tricky out there today,” Sampey added. “The biggest task was for me to get it straight down the track. I had to stay on the throttle against Karen. Going into first round, I was so nervous. But it seems like when I’m nervous, that’s when I usually do well. When there’s so much going on around me, it seems like that’s when I do the best on the racetrack. I’m so proud of Vance & Hines and that was a heck of a race in the final round.”
The victory was also noteworthy for Sampey as she became the first rider in Pro Stock Motorcycle to hoist a Wally at Thunder Valley. The class ran exhibition races at the track in 1999 / 2000 and Sampey competed in both of those events. This weekend was the first official points race for Pro Stock Motorcycle in Bristol.
RPM Round By Round:
Round 1 - Facing a teammate is never easy, facing your teammate when its Andrew Hines can be intimidating especially when the rest of your day is on the line. Sampey made the most of her round one match by running 6.821 at 195.62 MPH and barely making it to the like before Hines.
Round 2 - Sampey faced Chris Bostick in the quarter finals. Sampey was 3 - 1 against Bostick in prior events. Bostick left a little too quickly and went red giving the win to Sampey. Sampey had problems late in the run and her bike slowed running 7.075 at 154.33 MPH.
Round 3 - Another teammate was waiting in the semi's with Eddie Krawiec. Sampey is 10 - 7 against Krawiec in prior events. Krawiec got off the line first and drifted to the left. He fought to get it back to the right and got close to the wall about 600 feet out and backs off of the throttle. Sampey goes down the groove with her quickest pass of the weekend to take the win. Angelle ran 6.814 at 194.18 MPH and goes to her fourth final of 2021 and the 78th of her career.
Round 4 - In an all-female final round at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Sampey used a .010 reaction time against Karen Stoffer to win on a holeshot piloting her Mission Foods / Vance & Hines Suzuki with a pass of 6.773 at 196.85 MPH.
Check out the full recap by Josh Hachat at NHRA.com: