Angelle Sampey Moves from Two Wheels to Four with AB Motorsports

Antron Brown and Angelle Sampey as the former motorcycle racer prepares to take on four wheels
Photos: Courtesy of AB Motorsports

When Antron Brown started AB Motorsports, his intent was more than to have a team that would promote his exemplary career in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, where the former Pro Stock Motorcycle standout and current three-time Top Fuel champion has plied his trade. Brown’s immediate goal remains to win more races and championships for himself, of course, but also to keep the flow of talent coming into the sport with the team’s Accelerate Program.

This driver development program has its first entry. It’s three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Angelle Sampey, Brown’s former two-wheel teammate at Don Schumacher Racing and currently the ambassador for Mission Foods and its #2Fast#2Tasty Challenge for all four Camping World categories. Even before the announcement of their new association, Sampey traded two wheels for four and earned her Top Alcohol Dragster license.

Throughout the 2023 season, Sampey has performed warmup procedures in Brown’s Top Fuel dragster, allowing her to become comfortable in the seat of a nitro-burning dragster. Following last weekend’s 41st Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, Sampey belted into Jasmine Salinas’ Scrappers Racing A/Fuel dragster to start her licensing process, one she finished on Wednesday, August 23rd at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. With her license in hand, Sampey is prepared to run three A/Fuel contests this season to prepare for a full season in 2024. Her longterm goal is to move up to Top Fuel as Brown’s AB Motorsports teammate.

Sampey was exhilarated after her first licensing passes. “I felt every emotion I can think of,” she said. “My nerves were so bad, but I was determined to overcome them. After two runs, I thought to myself, ‘this isn’t for me’ but I kept going because I knew I was capable and it was just a matter of time until my brain would catch up.” It’s been nine months since Sampey turned a wheel in anger: “Today I went faster at the eighth-mile mark than I’ve ever been at the quarter [mile]. After the third and fourth runs, I knew that Antron was right and I would enjoy it!”

Brown made his transition from Pro Stock Motorcycle to Top Fuel in 2008; he encouraged his former teammate to consider the move after the 2022 season. Watching her first few passes in the nitro-injected dragster, Brown was “thoroughly impressed.” As he watched, he noted how much more comfortable Sampey became with each lap. “What happens is, just like me, after the off-season when I get back into the car, it feels like a rocket ship. It feels day and night stupid fast, because your body isn’t acclimated to going those speeds,” he reminded.

“So for her to be back out after almost a year and then to be in a vehicle that she isn’t used to driving that goes 100mph faster, she did a great job. She went over 255mph. We’ve got all the cobwebs out. Now that she’s got the gist of it down, it’s going to be fine-tuning those small things, and once she gets that, it’s going to be on,” Brown said of the racer who has 46 national event titles.

With licensing in hand, Sampey will compete in the final three contests of the 2023 season: the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas, NHRA Nevada Nationals at Las Vegas and on the In-N-Out Burger Dragstrip at the NHRA Finals in Pomona this November. She is slated to drive Jasmine Salinas’ dragster with Brown’s guidance, together with support from Mission Foods and GTTRX.com.

Sampey said she “feels like I’ve been reborn. This is a fresh start for me. I told Antron that even if this would be the only time I ever get to drive a dragster, I would be happy with what I accomplished. I had an amazing time. Working with Jasmine Salinas and Scrappers Racing was a great choice. They all made me feel at home and comfortable, even in the most uncomfortable situation I’ve ever been in. I simply cannot wait to do it again1”

Brown’s AB Motosports Accelerate Program intends to provide an array of resources for racers looking to make their next step. The Accelerate Program isn’t only for drivers who might eventually compete under the AB Motorsports umbrella. Brown intends to offer resources to both drivers and teams at any level or form of motorsports seeking to capitalize on the team’s expertise. Services offered include a full array, from driver coaching and licensing opportunities to public speaking training, marketing guidance and technical support.

“We want to do whatever we can to help benefit the sport as a whole,” Brown emphasized. “With the support of our partners, we have the opportunity to help other athletes level up. There are so many talented people in this sport who just need an extra boost to take that next step,. Our goal is to offer that helping hand.”

Sampey will debut in Top Alcohol Dragster in Texas, which was the site of her most recent achievement on two wheels: in the 2022 race at Texas Motorplex, Sampey set the Pro Stock Motorcycle track elapsed time (E.T.) record of 6.728 seconds. ”There’s not a chance I’d even think about driving an A/Fuel Dragster, let alone a Top Fuel car, with anyone else. Antron is the only person I’d do this with,” Sampey revealed. “After last season I called him for advice for starting my own Pro Stock Motorcycle team. He talked me into moving on. We both agreed that there was nothing left for me to accomplish on a motorcycle d it’s time for me to give four wheels a try. I’m so glad I did.”

As Sampey conducts this three-race campaign in 2023, she plans to campaign a full 2024 season in an A/Fuel car, including a mix of NHRA Camping World Series national events, together with NHRA Lucas Oil Series regional races, all to gain seat time. Sampey will continue her role as ambassador for Mission Foods and their #2Fast2Tasty Challenge program. Her success in the race car could mean a future opportunity to drive an AB Motorsports Top Fuel car.

About Anne Proffit 1224 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

2 Comments on Angelle Sampey Moves from Two Wheels to Four with AB Motorsports

  1. Congratulations on your move to 4 Wheels. You are great on the Motorcycle with a Stellar career and I’m sure you’ll do the same with the Dragsters. Looking forward to your debut coming up. Love to see women moving up in the sport being a father of a wonderful Daughter, not in the sport but she’s my daughter and a bit older than you. Go and kick some Butt Angelle, you have big fan here !

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