By Anthony Caruso III
Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Angelle Sampey had her sponsorship upgraded to the entire season. Originally, Sampey was just going to ride select races on the third bike.
She joined the team, who she used to have a rivalry with when she competed again, in the off-season. It was a surprising decision when it was announced.
Sampey had a successful test session with the team in Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. She made her debut with the team this past weekend at the 50th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida.
Now, she will compete on the Harley Street Rod for all 16 races with teammates Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec. Hines won the season-opening event for the bikes at the Gatornationals.
“In Gainesville we saw how well Angelle interacted with the fans and how well she fit in with her new team and this was an easy decision,” Team co-owner Terry Vance said. “She is a champion and her performance on the track will come. I have no doubts about that. We just didn’t want her in a position where she felt a lot of extra pressure during the first four races, so we went ahead and extended the deal.
“It was a collective decision between Harley-Davidson and the Vance & Hines team and quite honestly, it was a very easy decision to make. We all wanted her to know she has a future here.”
Sampey joined the Harley-Davidson team after competing the last few races with Team Liberty Racing. That operation was re-named Reed Motorsports in the off-season.
She has 42 career wins in 73 final rounds.
“I am so excited right now,” she said. “I think this was the second-best phone call I’ve gotten this year, right after the call in January where I was first hired. It just blew my mind that they made this decision after the first race. Terry Vance told me from the start that this was not as much my performance. He explained that it was part of a much bigger picture and they’ve proved that. I can’t thank Harley-Davidson and Vance & Hines enough for believing in me.”