Angelle Sampey Ready for Top Alcohol Debut: ‘I know I’m Prepared’

Jackson Wheeler
5 Min Read


Three-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Angelle Sampey is taking off the training wheels, ending the meetings, finishing off her testing and jumping into a Top Alcohol Dragster for real competition this weekend.

Sampey’s racing debut on four wheels will be in the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas, Oct. 12-15. The 53-year-old Sampey closed out her pre-debut training with a test session in the Michalek Brothers Racing’s A/Fuel Dragster on Oct. 4 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.

“I feel very confident going into this weekend,” said Sampey, who announced in August that she was moving to dragsters. “What a night and day difference between where I’m at now and those first few licensing runs at Brainerd (Minn.) back in August. I will admit, when I first got into the car last Wednesday, I was nervous again because I hadn’t driven in three weeks, so I just had to get that first run down and shake the nerves off but I was good after that.”

angelle sampey

Angelle Sampey is ready to go four-wheel racing in Texas.

AB Motorsports

Sampey plans to race the final three races this season in a Top Alcohol Dragster and a Lucas Oil Series divisional event at Las Vegas in November. Then, it’s on to a full season in the Top Alcohol class next year with a goal of eventually becoming a teammate with Antron Brown on Brown’s AB Motorsports Top Fuel team.

At Texas, Sampey will close out the year driving the Samsel Racing A/Fuel car at the NHRA Nevada Nationals and Lucas Oil Series race in Las Vegas and the NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif. At all four events, Sampey will campaign the Mission Foods A/Fuel Dragster with support from GETTRX, Hangsterfer’s Metal Working Lubricants, FVP and Factory Motor Parts, and Lucas Oil. Since announcing her move to the Top Alcohol Dragster category, Sampey has been busy preparing for her Dallas A/Fuel Dragster debut.

“In addition to testing, I’ve been doing a lot of mental runs,” said Sampey, who has 46 Pro Stock Motorcycle wins. “I go through the starting line procedure in my head a lot. Every night when I’m lying down to go to bed, I’ll do several runs in my head. Corey and Kyle (Michalek) made comments about that at testing last week. They both said it was very obvious that I came prepared, and they were just really happy with the way I drove the car. I was really happy with how everything went. The Michalek brothers run such a professional operation; they’re just amazing and I’m really looking forward to a great weekend with them in Dallas.

“I feel ready to go but I will say, the only thing that has me slightly nervous about this weekend is just the fact that I haven’t made a run with a car in the other lane yet. Once I can check that off the list this week, I’ll feel really good about it. I just want to make sure I’m paying attention to the other driver’s staging lights, getting down the track, and then just the whole process of getting off the track safely with another car in the opposite lane. There’s a lot to think about to make sure I’m safe, and my opponent is safe. I know I’m prepared; I just have some nerves with it being my first time having to do that with another car on the track.”

Sampey’s first qualifying run in the Top Alcohol class is Thursday.

Headshot of Mike Pryson

Mike Pryson covered auto racing for the Jackson (Mich.) Citizen Patriot and MLive Media Group from 1991 until joining Autoweek in 2011. He won several Michigan Associated Press and national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for auto racing coverage and was named the 2000 Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club’s Michigan Motorsports Writer of the Year. A Michigan native, Mike spent three years after college working in southwest Florida before realizing that the land of Disney and endless summer was no match for the challenge of freezing rain, potholes and long, cold winters in the Motor City.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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