NHRA Motorcycle Legend Angelle Sampey Moving to Top Alcohol Dragsters

2023 menards nhra heartland nationals
Angelle Sampey Plans Move to NHRA DragstersRichard H Shute
  • A Sampey is a three-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion and a 46-time event winner.

  • She recently earned her Top Alcohol license and is now part of three-time Top Fuel champion Antron Brown's new AB Motorsports Accelerate Program.

  • Sampey plans to compete in three Top Alcohol events this year before moving to the class full time in 2024 with an eventual move to Top Fuel her ultimate goal.

Three-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Angelle Sampey is taking on a new drag racing challenge, and this one involves four wheels.

The 53-year-old Sampey—the winningest woman in Pro Stock Motorcycle history with 46 event wins—has earned her Top Alcohol license and is now part of three-time Top Fuel champion Antron Brown's new AB Motorsports Accelerate Program.


Sampey plans to compete in three Top Alcohol Dragster events this season—the Texas NHRA FallNationals in Dallas, the NHRA Nevada Nationals in Las Vegas, and the NHRA Finals in Pomona. She’ll drive Jasmine Salinas’ dragster under Brown’s direction and with sponsorship from Mission Foods and

Sampey hopes to race a full-season Top Alcohol campaign in 2024 and eventually move up to Top Fuel as an AB Motorsports teammate to Brown.

Sampey has performed the warmup procedures in Brown’s Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster several times this season to get comfortable in the seat of a nitro-burning dragster. After the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, Sampey strapped into Salinas’ Scrappers Racing A/Fuel dragster to start the licensing process.

She completed that license process at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park on Wednesday.

2023 menards nhra heartland nationals
Under the direction of three-time NHRA Top Fuel Dragster champion Antron Brown, left, Angelle Sampey is taking on a new racing challenge.ABMotorsports

“Today was one of the most exhilarating days I’ve ever had,” Sampey said after her first licensing passes. “I felt every emotion I can think of. 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 I’ve been down the track, and today I went faster at the eighth-mile mark than I’ve ever been at the quarter. After the third and fourth runs I knew that Antron was right, and I would enjoy it.”

The AB Motorsports Accelerate Program is a driver development program designed by Brown to help further the sport, and it isn’t exclusively for drivers who will eventually compete for Brown's AB Motorsports team. Brown plans to provide resources for drivers and teams at any level or form of motorsports. Those resources include driver coaching and licensing opportunities, public speaking training, marketing guidance, and technical support.

Brown, who made the transition from Pro Stock Motorcycle to Top Fuel in 2008, encouraged Sampey to consider the move to four wheels after the 2022 season.

“She really did a great job and you could tell she got more and more comfortable with each lap,” Brown said after watching Sampey's first passes in the nitro-injected dragster. “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. So, for her to be back out after almost year and then to be in a vehicle that she isn’t used to driving that goes 100 MPH faster, she did a great job.

"She went over 255 MPH. We’ve got all the cobwebs out. Now that she’s got the gist of it down, it’s just going to be fine-tuning those small things, and once she gets that, it’s going to be on.”

Sampey is looking forward to the next chapter of her racing career.

“I feel like I’ve been reborn,” Sampey said. “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 again.”

Sampey will make her Top Alcohol Dragster debut at the Texas NHRA FallNationals, Oct. 12-15, at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, where she returns as the Pro Stock Motorcycle track E.T. record holder (6.728 seconds, 2022).