Two days after celebrating her 50th birthday, Angelle Sampey gave herself a present she could have only dreamed of when she won her long awaited 43rd Pro Stock Motorcycle title at the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil. For Sampey, the win was her first since the 2016 Englishtown race and her first since joining the Vance & Hines factory Harley-Davidson team two seasons ago.
Paired with first-time finalist Chris Bostick, Sampey was nearly perfect off the starting line with a .001 reaction time and ran a 6.880 for the victory. Bostick was well behind with a 6.950, but the final wasn’t without its share of drama. As Sampey’s team prepared to fire up her Harley FXDR, they encountered a problem with the clutch cable. Quick thinking by the Vance & Hines crew got the problem fixed in time for her to make the run and the three-time world champion did the rest.
"I just tried to stay calm because I didn't know if they were going to get my bike fixed in time," said Sampey. "Chris was doing such a good job and luck seemed to be on his side. They got it fixed and we got it done. Thank you Vance & Hines and Harley-Davidson. I told you I was going to do it. I'll bet you thought I was dead but I'm not dead. Happy Birthday to me!"
After qualifying No. 4 with a 6.847, Sampey rode to race-day wins against Steve Johnson, who broke, as well as teammate Andrew Hines and Scotty Pollacheck. The final round was the 74th of career.
If not for Sampey’s performance, the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals might well have been the third-straight Pro Stock Motorcycle event to feature a first-time winner. Following Jianna Salinas’ victory at the 2019 Auto Club Finals in Pomona and Ryan Oehler’s recent win at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals last month. Bostick nearly joined that group when he reached the first final of his career. Racing in his 22nd career Pro Stock Motorcycle race, Bostick, who leased a Suzuki from the Stoffer/Underdahl team for the event, nearly doubled his career win total of four rounds on Sunday by beating Angie Smith, Oehler, and Eddie Krawiec.