Denver: Angelle Sampey final report

Sampey Exits Early in Denver Bandimere Speedway holds a lot of memories for three time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champ Angelle Sampey, and that made her early exit in eliminations there this weekend all the more painful. "The Mile High Nationals...

Sampey Exits Early in Denver

Bandimere Speedway holds a lot of memories for three time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champ Angelle Sampey, and that made her early exit in eliminations there this weekend all the more painful. "The Mile High Nationals is a very special race for me," said Angelle. "It's where I started my career in the NHRA, so this weekend started my twelfth year of professional racing.

"Racing on The Mountain is always tough. It's just so different than any other race we go to. Because of the weather conditions and altitude, everything changes. From how you tune the bike to how you drive it, it's all different."

After a slow 1.152 60 foot time, Sampey's Rush Racing S&S powered Buell stood up on the wheelie bar to post a decent lap in the first round of qualifying.

qualifying round 1
7th Angelle Sampey right lane 7.569 at 175.59 mph

"We ran good in Q1, but the air/fuel ratio was too rich," said George Bryce, the six time national champion tuner on Sampey's bike. "So we knew we would run better in Q2. Well, I aimed Angelle too far to the right and the bike went straight to the centerline and we did not run any better." The 60 foot time, however, bettered to a 1.113.

qualifying round 2
13th Angelle Sampey left lane 7.577 at 173.54 mph

Angelle's 60 foot time improved further still to 1.105 in round 3. "Conditions were the best in round 3," reported Bryce. "Angelle went straight but went too far in first gear and hit the rev limiter hard. Then her hand came off the handle bar. By the time she got back to the button, the bike was HARD on the limiter again--over 10,000 RPM for tenths. Well, that run was going to be so fast we went 7.41 for tenth spot."

qualifying round 3
10th Angelle Sampey right lane 7.418 at 180.12 mph

"I missed the shifts in first and second gear," said Angelle. "I over-revved first a little which caused me to hit the rev limiter. When that happens it feels like hitting the brakes. Your body gets thrown forward and then backwards when you shift to the next gear. When I did this while shifting into second, my hand moved to the outside of the handle bars which caused me to miss the shifter button completely while trying to shift to third."

"Angelle was devastated," said Bryce. "She knew that was our shot to really show what we could do. She missed about a tenth and we were only .009 behind low qualifier."

"I was so upset because I knew that it was going to be a really fast run if I hadn't made that mistake," said Angelle. "I was anxious to redeem myself for the fourth round of qualifying. But the fuel line came loose and the bike stalled on the line."

qualifying round 4
10th Angelle Sampey left lane no pass

"We left a high pressure fuel line loose in the pits and it sprayed out all over the bike in the burnout," said Bryce. "Angelle had to shut it down and we were done."

"Fuel was gushing everywhere," said Angelle. "And as I started to feel as if I just can't catch a break, I realized how much worse it could have been. If that bike would've caught on fire, the bike and I would have been burned really badly."

"We were tenth, which meant that we had to run Chris Rivas on the Drag Specialties/S&S powered entry first round," said Bryce. Riding the G2 Motorsports flagship bike, Rivas is a quasi teammate to Sampey.

"I really felt optimistic on Sunday as I lined up against Chris," said Angelle. "I gave it my all and cut a .012 light, went really straight and shifted on time. The run felt like a great one, but I knew something was wrong because Chris got out on me and I just couldn't catch him."

eliminations round 1
(W) Chris Rivas .017 7.335 at 180.60 mph
Angelle Sampey .012 7.424 at 176.49 mph

"Angelle had all great lights all weekend again," said Bryce. "She had a .012 first round on raceday and drove very well, went straight and shifted on time, but got beat by Rivas, who had low ET of the round. We could have hurt the engine over revving on Saturday, because we lost 4 MPH from our Q3 run! So we are shipping the engine back to G2 to get it checked out and ready for the Sonoma race."

"It gets tougher and tougher each race to stay motivated, but I do believe that my team and I are doing just that," said Angelle. "My Rush Racing Products V-Twin is fast. I know it and my team knows it, but we just haven't had all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place yet so that everyone else will know it.

"Although this season hasn't gone as we've planned yet, I do have to say that I am proud to still be in the sport and am still having fun after eleven years now. I want to thank everyone that supports my team in anyway, especially Rush Racing Products,, Doc's Harley-Davidson, Royal Purple, Bates Leathers, and all of our sponsors that give us the opportunity to have the greatest job in the world. Thank you for all you do and especially for believing in us. We will get to the winners circle soon!"

"Thank you Karl and Kim Klement for a great time," Bryce said about the owners of his and Angelle's team. "Sorry we didn't run as well as we thought we would, but stay tuned. We are just about to run very, very well."

-credit: as/rr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Chris Rivas , Angelle Sampey