SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. – What began as a four-race trial run with Vance & Hines Harley Davidson has blossomed into a full season for three-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Angelle Sampey.
Sampey will pilot a third Harley Street Rod for all 16 events on the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule this season, teaming with recent Gatornationals winner Andrew Hines and runner-up Eddie Krawiec.
NHRA.com first reported the story.
The championship pursuit comes after Sampey signed with the team for the opening four rounds of the season in early January.
“In Gainesville we saw how well Angelle interacted with the fans and how well she fit in with her new team and this was an easy decision,” team co-owner Terry Vance told NHRA.com. “She is a champion and her performance on the track will come. I have no doubts about that. We just didn’t want her in a position where she felt a lot of extra pressure during the first four races, so we went ahead and extended the deal.
“It was a collective decision between Harley-Davidson and the Vance & Hines team and quite honestly, it was a very easy decision to make,” Vance continued. “We all wanted her to know she has a future here.”
After debuting with her longtime arch-rivals at the 50th annual Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., last weekend and qualifying sixth-quick in a loaded field, Sampey proved her mettle and earned a year-long upgrade despite a round one exit in final eliminations.
“I am so excited right now,” she said. “I think this was the second-best phone call I’ve gotten this year, right after the call in January where I was first hired. It just blew my mind that they made this decision after the first race. Terry Vance told me from the start that this was not as much my performance. He explained that it was part of a much bigger picture and they’ve proved that.
“I can’t thank Harley-Davidson and Vance & Hines enough for believing in me.”
Sampey raced against the Vance & Hines team for years in the early- and mid-2000s, collecting three consecutive class championships from 2000-2002 against a loaded Pro Stock Motorcycle field.
She is the winningest female competitor in NHRA history with 42 professional victories, and the 48-year-old rider has 73 career final-round appearances over the course of her decorated career.