She produced a lot of No. 1 qualifying efforts but Sunday results just weren’t there often enough.
Following three seasons together riding the Vance & Hines NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle (PSM) Mission Foods Suzuki four-valve motorcycle, three-time NHRA champion Angelle Sampey and the team she’s been riding with have parted ways.
In their statement of fact, Vance & Hines stated the company “has a heritage of success on the track, and 2022 was a disappointing season for our company and our NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle team,” said V&H company president Mike Kennedy. “While there were successes, like our win in Norwalk, Ohio and the seven race weekends that we were the top qualifier, with our transition to a redesigned Suzuki [four valve] powertrain, at Vance & Hines we expect to compete for championships.
“I’ve asked our crew chief, Andrew Hines, to do a full assessment of our NHRA racing operation, to ensure we are in a position to compete for championships going forward,” Kennedy stated. “We owe this to our employees, fans and to our partners at Suzuki and Mission Foods.
“In 2023, we will be parting ways with rider Angelle Sampey and wish her the best in her future racing endeavors. She’s been an asset to our team for the past three seasons. Angelle is a fan favorite and her personality will be missed.”
The search for Sampey’s successor is underway and the team fully expects to make known their choice well before the season opening Camping World Drag Racing Series’ 54th annul Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, scheduled for March 9-12, 2023.
Sampey, who earned three consecutive titles (2000-2002) before retiring – several times, in fact – has helped Vance & Hines develop its new Suzuki motorcycle over the past three seasons. Sampey earned her final No. 1 for V&H at the NHRA’s World Finals two weeks ago at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
The 46-race winner, including Sampey’s single victory at Norwalk this year, fouled in the second round against veteran Steve Johnson, whose Suzuki motorcycle failed him in the semifinals against race winner Angie Smith. Sampey’s teammate, Eddie Krawiec, failed to make the 16-motorcycle field for the first time in his 15 years of competition.