CHARLOTTE, N.C. (September 17, 2016) – For the third consecutive race, Angelle Sampey powered her PSE/Star Racing Buell to the No. 1 spot during qualifying at the Ninth annual NHRA Carolina Nationals.
In Friday’s first session, Sampey began qualifying with a solid 6.915-second pass at 193.13 mph. Breaking in new tires, the PSE/Star Racing team knew it would take a few runs to fully break them in and she came back in the second round of qualifying by making a big improvement with a 6.861, 195.82 - putting her in the No. 2 spot and collecting two qualifying bonus points.
A No. 2 qualifying spot going into Saturday may be a more than acceptable place to be but not for Sampey and her team. In high 80 degree temperatures, Sampey watched her competition as each pair went down the track in front of her. In the final pair of the class, Sampey went straight down the boulevard at zMAX Dragway and dropped jaws in the stadium-style facility when she blazed to a 6.815, 196.02. Having almost three-thousandths over the No. 2 qualifier at any time during qualifying is typically unheard of in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
“That was actually as close to perfect as I’ve ever ran,” Sampey beamed. “My Buell’s performance along with my performance was great. There wasn’t a lot left in it.”
Sampey collected three bonus points for her stout 6.815-second pass. She closed out qualifying with a 6.872, 194.18. She was fastest of the session and collected three more bonus points.
“It’s perfect timing,” she said. “We definitely want to be the best we can on every run. My crew chief Ken Johnson says he doesn’t want No. 1 qualifier because he thinks it’s a curse but I want to be the best on Friday, the best on Saturday and the best on Sunday. We’re in a groove now.”
Setting herself up in the best position for the first race in the Countdown, Sampey will race No. 16 Mark Paquette in the first round of eliminations.
“I know it’s going to be hotter and I don’t think we’ll see any faster runs tomorrow but I just want to keep my reaction times the same,” she added. “Every Sunday I pray for four win lights and that yellow hat at the end of the day.”
ANGELLE SAMPEY, PSE/STAR RACING BUELL
Qualified: No. 1
SAMPEY vs. Mark Paquette
Friday: 6.915, 193.13 (Session 1); 6.861, 195.82 (Session 2)
Saturday: 6.815, 196.02 (Session 3); 6.872, 194.18 (Session 4)
RACE SCHEDULE FOR NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS:
Sunday, Sept. 18: eliminations begin at 12:00 p.m. (ET) beginning with Top Fuel.
CAROLINA NATIONALS ON FS1:
Sunday, Sept. 18: three hours of live finals coverage at 2:30 p.m. (ET)