Angelle Sampey never shies away from a challenge, and when Antron Brown suggested she try her hand at racing a 270-mph injected nitro dragster, the three-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion jumped at the opportunity. With a few laps under her belt, the Cajun racer’s only regret was not trying four wheels and nitromethane sooner.
Sampey, winner of 46 NHRA national events, won’t have to wait much longer as AB Motorsports has partnered with Michalek Brothers Racing (MBR) to continue the ABM Accelerate program and campaign Sampey at a majority of the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series events and a limited number of NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series regional events. Sampey will compete in the MBR-prepared A/Fuel dragster with support from Hangsterfer’s Metal Working Lubricants, Factory Motor Parts and the FVP brand, Mission Foods, and Lucas Oil.
“I had such an amazing experience last year with both the Michalek Brothers and Samsel Racing, and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to continue to race in an A/Fuel dragster in 2024,” said Sampey. “I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous strapping into the dragster at Ennis [Texas] last fall, but Corey and Kyle were tremendous mentors and kept me calm and taught me so much in a very short amount of time. I really do have to thank both the Michalek and Samsel teams for making me look more polished than I was.
“I know I’ll have some butterflies in the tummy when we pull to the line for the first pass at No Problem Raceway next month, but not nearly as many rumbling around as I did last summer,” joked Sampey, referring to her upcoming 2024 debut event at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, La., Feb. 22 – 25. “These will mainly come from racing in front of so many friends and family members in Louisiana. I live less than 50 miles from the track in Belle Rose, so it will be wonderful to kick off 2024 at home. I’m super pumped to continue to be able to race and represent Mission Foods and help promote the #2Fast2Tasty program. The racers love it, and I hope to be able to compete in it in Top Fuel one day.”
Following the NHRA Lucas Oil Series Division 4 race, Sampey will return to competition at the NHRA Mission Foods season opener, March 7-10, at the historic NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville. She also will continue her role as an ambassador for Mission Foods and support the Mission #2Fast2Tasty program at 14 NHRA Mission Foods Series races in 2024. Sampey’s on-track mission is to compete in up to 10 NHRA national events and four Lucas Oil divisional races to earn enough points to race for the 2024 Lucas Oil Series championship.
“This was a no-brainer to continue this program with Angelle, and we couldn’t have partnered with a better group than Corey, Kyle, and the entire Michalek team,” AB Motorsports team owner Antron Brown said. “Angelle is super popular in our sport. She has a great following on social media and sees a tremendous amount of fan engagement on her social platforms. The fans adore her. Getting her back on track was very important, and we’re proud to have accomplished that. Now we need to get her back into the winner’s circle and help her make another championship run, this time on four wheels, with the ultimate goal of her being our ABM teammate in a Top Fuel dragster one day in the future.”
The MBR team is based near Columbus, Ohio, about three hours from the ABM shop just outside of Indianapolis. With Corey behind the wheel and Kyle leading the team, MBR has garnered two NHRA national event titles (Charlotte 1 2022 and 2014) in four final round-appearances, along with collecting IHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car championships as crewmembers for Mark Thomas in 2006-’07.
“When we met with Antron at the PRI Show in Indy last month, he shared his vision for Angelle’s continued growth in the A/Fuel class with the ultimate goal being to graduate her into Top Fuel,” Corey Michalek said. “We didn’t have to think very long to say ‘yes’ because our aspirations are to one day follow that same path. AB is not only a household name in motorsports but a great representative for the sport of drag racing, and Angelle is such an asset to the sport. To work with both of them is a tremendous opportunity for Kyle, myself, and our entire team.”
Sampey made her A/Fuel dragster debut with the support of Mission Foods in the Michalek Brothers Racing dragster last October at Texas Motoplex, advancing to the semifinals at her inaugural race. She then drove the Samsel Racing rail at two events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip, earning a No. 1 qualifier and runner-up finish.