Angelle Sampey Beaten in Finals; Teammates Out in First Round
May 7, 2007
MADISON, Ill. (Army News Service, May 7, 2007) - Army Pro Stock Motorcycle pilot, Angelle Sampey, lost in the finals here yesterday in the O'Reilly Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.
Ms. Sampey's teammates, Antron Brown and Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, both dropped first-round match-ups in Pro Stock Motorcycle and Top Fuel, respectively.
<b>Pro Stock Motorcycles</b>
Ms. Sampey, who qualified third, beat Scott Lewis, Andrew Hines and Chip Ellis in the opening three rounds of eliminations before getting taken out by Matt Smith in the finals.
The three-time world champion actually left the starting line before Mr. Smith with an impressive .015-second launch, but Mr. Smith quickly went around her and wound up recording the quickest Pro Stock Motorcycle pass in NHRA history at 6.901 seconds.
"We gave it our best shot," said the Louisiana native. "Listen, you have to tip your hat to Matt Smith and his team. That was an unbelievable pass. I'm certainly disappointed that we didn't win, but at the same time we made a lot of progress this weekend.
"Now, we need to get Antron going. I truly believe in my heart that both Army Suzukis will be fighting it out for the championship by the time we get into the teeth of the schedule."
For the fourth straight race, Mr. Brown struggled to get out of the early rounds after losing a confrontation with 13th-place qualifier, Hector Arana.
Despite cutting a solid reaction time, Mr. Brown's 7.101-second pass was slower than Mr. Arana's 7.063-second trip down the quarter-mile.
"Man, this is tough," offered the Indianapolis resident. "We're going to have to sit down and figure this thing out. Like I said last weekend, we're a championship-caliber team. None of the guys on this crew are quitters. We're going to win some races before too long for our Soldiers and get up there to challenge for the world title."
For the fourth consecutive race and the fifth time in seven events, Mr. Schumacher left the track after round one.
This time it was ninth-place qualifier, Clay Millican, who got the better of the Chicago native after the latter smoked the tires early.
"We got up on the wheelie bar after I hit the throttle and it carried the front end a lot farther than it probably should have," said the defending NHRA POWERade Top Fuel world champion. "Once the front-end set down, the rear tires broke loose and that was it.
"Obviously, we're all disappointed. We thought maybe this might be our weekend. We'll just have to wait a couple of weeks before the next opportunity comes along."
The next opportunity for Mr. Schumacher will be the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway, May 18-20. He will enter the event holding sixth-place in the points.
Ms. Sampey and Mr. Brown, who are now third and ninth in the points, respectively, will have to wait until the Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., June 7-10, before rejoining the tour.