Baytown: Savoie looking for third title

BAYTOWN, Texas - Angelle Savoie has spent the better part of a year looking for a sponsor. Now, however, the two-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion is focusing on racing. Savoie still doesn't have a full-time sponsor, but she does have a new ...

BAYTOWN, Texas - Angelle Savoie has spent the better part of a year looking for a sponsor. Now, however, the two-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion is focusing on racing.

Savoie still doesn't have a full-time sponsor, but she does have a new motorcycle and the desire to ride into winner's circle sooner than later.

Riding her Star Racing Suzuki, Savoie will be among nearly 30 riders competing at the 15th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, April 11-14. The $1.9 million race is the fifth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series and the second of 14 events for the Pro Stock Motorcycle category.

"We have a really good bike, but it has taken me a couple of runs to get used to it," Savoie said. "I don't think I am completely used to it, but it gets better with every run. We really could use a sponsor, but we just have to dig deeper into our reserves. As soon as we sign a deal, we will be full speed ahead."

As part of the Master Settlement Agreement, R.J. Reynold's Winston brand of tobacco had to pull its sponsorship after the 2001 season, forcing the NHRA and Savoie to go shopping for a new name and sponsor. The NHRA signed a five-year deal with POWERade in December, but Savoie has yet to ink her new deal.

"It has been very frustrating, humbling and a little scary as a matter of fact," Savoie said. "I don't want to end my career anytime soon, especially not like this. I am not going to quit until I absolutely have to."

Since her first start in 1996, Savoie has been nothing short of competitive. She has 22 career wins in 36 final round appearances and is the winningest female in NHRA history. Savoie has finished in the top two four times.

While the Star Racing program still has to fight to get a sponsor's name on the motorcycle, Savoie knows she is going to have to fight even harder to get a victory on the drag strip. In the season opener for the motorcycle class, Savoie lost in the final round to Craig Treble.

"I think this is going to be an unbelievably tough year," Savoie said. "I think it is great for the class, but it is going to be hard to win. Each individual race is going to be tough."

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Craig Treble