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Inside Interview
© 2004-5 Dwight Drum

NHRA POWERade Series

Photos and story © 2005 Dwight Drum
Web work by Gary Larsen

Angelle Sampey

US ARMY Pro Stock Bike

Schumacher Racing

“I want to race and win as much as I want to breathe.”

“The overpowering will and determination to win and probably a few loose screws.”

We began our Internet racing quest with an interview with Angelle about seven years ago and we are always proud to bring any words from this exciting three-time NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Bike champion. Most of our interviews are done on-site during a race, but many are done via phone or Internet too. Popular racers in NHRA and NASCAR are bombarded with media requests for access and we are happy to say after about 10 or more interviews with Angelle our request with questions was graciously answered in prompt time. Proper speed.

This is Angelle as Angelle is. She is honest often, we believe, and her words here were typed on her keyboard, not transcribed after a fast scenario of a recorder in her face. I’ve edited a few changes, just quote marks and space reduction but basically all of Angelle’s words come to you as they came to me.

We’re also proud to include Angelle’s interview here within proximity of our interviews with Karen Stoffer and Kim Crosby, a crisp and enervated group of female racers with great achievements in a male dominated world of speed.

Enjoy Angelle.

Time: Preseason 2005
Place: Internet connection

Dwight asked Angelle:

When did you realize you could be a motorcycle drag racer?

“When I was only six years old, I started motocross racing on my Suzuki RM 50. I would get the hole shot most of the time but then usually got passed at the first turn. My mom would joke and say that I would be a great drag racer because I beat every one to the first turn. The day it really happened (that I became interested in drag racing) is the day I took my street bike to the drag strip just to see what kind of times I could get on it. I instantly became addicted to the speed and the possibility of competing and beating my competitors regardless of my size or gender.”

What’s inside a good racer that’s not in most of us?

“Tunnel vision. The overpowering will and determination to win and probably a few loose screws.”

What would you most like fans to know about your job that they may not understand?

“That I am human. I make mistakes. I have bad days. Sometimes I don't feel like being in a crowd, don't feel like smiling or talking, but I have to do what I have to do. Just imagine having a real bad day in your personal life or maybe you just aren't feeling well at all and you have to race this big race in front of millions of viewers who are judging your performance, your attitude and your personality. They want you to be perfect. But the problem is that what is perfect to one person may not be perfect to the next and you just can't please everyone. Sometimes the stress of being in the public eye is huge. I do this because I LOVE to race. I LOVE to win. I only wish the public would be more forgiving on something's. I do try really hard to be what everyone wants me to be, both in my professional life as well as my personal life.”

Do you have a favorite moment in racing?

“Getting the WIN light!!!!!!!”

Can you describe the drive within you?

“No, I can't. I never could understand it myself. It is indescribable. I HAVE to WIN. I don't take it well when I lose. I want to race and win as much as I want to breath. Sometimes I feel like I am literally crazy. I don't know where the drive comes from but it is so strong that if I couldn't race or couldn't win at least sometimes, I am sure I would need to seek counseling. It's that bad.”

Do you think your competitive spirit will change over time?

“NOPE!!!! Not a chance.”

Can you define your best goals?

“To learn to enjoy the journey. Sometimes I get so emotionally involved in everything I do that I don't take time to "smell the roses". Another goal I have to is figure out what I am going to do with my future, those dreadful days that I won't be able to race. As much as I hate to think of it, that time will come and I need a plan. I am independent woman so I have to plan for my future.”

Do you have a strategy to bring out the best in yourself or do you just race?

“I just race, I usually am at my best when I am the most healthy, so I try to stay in shape and eat well.”

What would you most like the fans to know about you?

“That I come from a very modest family. My mom and dad both work very hard to support themselves just as they always have when they were raising my brother and me. My dad is a truck driver and my mom works at an elementary school. I didn't have any connections to this sport or any money to buy my way in. I worked my butt off to get here and I sacrificed more than I probably should have. I was told by lots of people that I would never make it. Proving them wrong has been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. I would also like the world to know that I have a brother named Rickie Sampey. He is my big brother and he can ride a motorcycle better than me. The Pro Stock motorcycle community should be glad it's me they have to race instead of him.”

Do you find time for interests other than racing?

“Not much time, but I do enjoy working out with my kickboxing coach Steve Miller. (Who I am proud to say, also dating) He owns "Louisiana Black Belt Academy" and "The Fight House" were I train in Kickboxing, Grappling and Mixed Martial Arts. I have always been a fan of boxing and martial arts and now I am a huge fan of the UFC. "Ultimate Fighting Championship." My favorite fighters are Chuck Lidell, " The Ice Man" and Randy Cotour.”

Can you describe yourself in three words?

“Stubborn. Determined. And finally HAPPY! That last one took a while. I had to lose about 270 pounds but I am finally happy.”

Additional Comments?

“You guys are the best. I always enjoy your interviews because you tell the fans about the PEOPLE who race. You prove to everyone that we are indeed people just like they are and that’s important to me. I just want to add one more thing. I have four furry children now, Andy a four year old Capuchin monkey, Chas Se', a one year old Wamariner dog and now six month old Rodney and Sydney, Andy's Guinea Pigs. My house is starting to look like a ZOO!!!”

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