By U.S. Army RacingAugust 23, 2007
READING, Pa. (Army News Service, Aug. 23, 2007) - After enduring numerous rain delays over the last three days, U.S. Army Pro Stock Motorcycle pilot, Angelle Sampey, could not quite close the deal here as she lost in the final round of the Toyo Tires Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
The three-time world champion was automatically disqualified in her match up with Matt Guidera after she wiped out the 1,000-foot timing cone.
"That's certainly not the way I would have preferred to finish off this race after being here for so long," said a dejected Ms. Sampey. "I was side-by-side with Matt for much of the way down the track and then I started drifting toward the center. I tried to muscle my bike back into the groove, but I just couldn't get it done. I ultimately hit the cone and that was it."
Heading into the confrontation with Mr. Guidera, Ms. Sampey was coming off an impressive semifinal round win over Eddie Krawiec where she recorded a lightning quick
6.897-second pass, which fell just short of her world record pass from last June in
"That run certainly gave us a lot of confidence that we could win the race," she added. "What I feel bad about is that I couldn't get another win for all of our hard-working Soldiers. We've got to get to victory lane for them real soon."
While Ms. Sampey had to wait until Wednesday to complete the 23rd annual Toyo Tires Nationals, her U.S. Army teammates, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Antron Brown (Pro Stock Motorcycles), were at home by Monday evening.
Before the rain moved in, Mr. Schumacher got beat in the first round of eliminations on Sunday by Doug Foley and then Mr. Brown was leveled in his second round race on
Monday by none other than Ms. Sampey.
Mr. Brown's loss to Ms. Sampey ended his hopes of moving into the National Hot Rod Association's new Countdown to the Championship, which begins next weekend at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis.
"We battled right up to the bitter end and I'm proud of my team for that," said Mr. Brown. "Now, we'll just have to play the role of spoiler. We're definitely going to do what we can to help Angelle win her fourth world title."
Ms. Sampey will start the Countdown holding second-place in the standings, 10 points
behind leader, Matt Smith, while Mr. Schumacher, who has been testing at O'Reilly Raceway Park the last few days in preparation for the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, will also begin the Countdown from the second spot, 10 points removed from leader, Rod Fuller.
"We've been putting up some good numbers in testing, so I'm looking forward to
returning to Indy next week to get going for real," said Mr. Schumacher. "I'm getting pumped up for the playoffs."
Mr. Schumacher, who has won the last three NHRA POWERade World Championships, is a five-time winner of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, which is considered the most prestigious drag race in the world.