Three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champ Angelle Sampey announced her departure from the Liberty Motorsports team in what has already been an active NHRA "silly season." Sampey is currently evaluating a number of options that would allow her to continue racing in NHRA Mello Yello competition.
“After the season ended in Pomona, Cory and I sat down to discuss our future together and the direction of the team and as a result of those discussions, I decided that it was best to take a step back and look at other options,” Sampey said. “I am extremely grateful to Cory Reed, the Whiteley family, and everyone at Liberty Racing for allowing me to be a part of the team and continue my career these last two seasons. We had our share of growing pains but I’m proud that we were able to make it into the top ten this year.
“Joey Gladstone joined the team late in the season and he is going to run a full-season next year and Cory will also be returning on a full-time basis,” Sampey said. “The opportunity was there for us to race a third motorcycle but that would require additional funding, and at this point, I just don't have it."
Sampey noted that she’s already reached out to several other teams to explore possible rides for 2019 and plans on attending this week’s Performance Racing Industry Show in Indianapolis to meet with potential sponsors and team owners.
Sampey retired following the 2008 season and remained on the sidelines until late in 2014, when she rejoined the Star team. Sampey and Reed left to form Liberty Racing in 2017. Her commitment to physical fitness, including a rigorous mixed martial arts training regimen, has allowed her to remain competitive at age 48.
“I believe I still have what it takes to be competitive; in fact, I think I’m in the best shape of my life,” Sampey said. “Anyone who knows me understands that I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t think I still had the ability to win races and compete for championships. I still have the desire to compete at a high level, and I just need the opportunity to join the right organization.”
In addition to her three NHRA Mello Yello series championships, Sampey has 42 national event wins in 73 final rounds and ranks as the most successful female racer in all of Motorsports. After making her debut in Denver in 1996 with the Star Racing team, she won her fourth start. She won three-straight championships from 2000-02 and has 15 top ten finishes to her credit.
"Obviously, my No. 1 priority would be to continue racing a motorcycle, but if that's not possible, I still want to be involved in the sport because I believe I have a lot to offer both on and off the track," Sampey said. "I enjoy motivational speaking, and I'd also welcome the opportunity to mentor an up-and-coming young driver. I've learned a lot in the 20-plus years I've been out here and I'm eager to share my experiences."