LAS VEGAS, Nev. (October 28, 2017) – After sitting out four races, Team Liberty Racing’s Cory Reed and Angelle Sampey returned to competition and tried their hand at the uber-competitive Pro Stock Motorcycle class at the 17th annual NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas.
On Friday, Team Liberty Racing team owner and 2016 Rookie of the Year Reed clocked in with a 7.173-second pass at 184.04 mph. Three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Sampey followed the pair directly after with a 7.100, 185.21. In the evening session, Reed picked up four-thousandths of a second at the top end of The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when he ran a 7.130, 184.80. Sampey closed out Friday with an improved 7.053, 185.59.
Saturday, it was a 7.172, 182.35 for Reed on his Team Liberty Victory Magnum and he had one chance left to qualifying in the field from the No. 21 spot. Sampey made her best pass of qualifying in the third session with a 6.977, 188.52.
“I knew it was going fast because it picked up the tire in second and third gear,” Sampey said. “It went straight and it felt good so I knew it gonna put up a good number. I made one little correction off the starting line on that run and I knew this was it.”
Sampey finished qualifying with a 7.001, 189.66 landing her in the No. 9 spot with a first round matchup against Jerry Savoie. Reed’s slowed 7.233, 181.59 and was just shy of making the top 16 and racing on Sunday; this event is the first time in 2017 that both Sampey and Reed haven’t both qualified for raceday competition.
“I’m very disappointed we didn’t get both bikes in the show this weekend because I know we are in a better position today than we were at Indy,” Sampey added. “It just isn’t showing on the track yet with Cory. We don’t know what’s going on with his bike yet. The whole class’ competition level has stepped up and I feel like we’ve stepped up with them. I know we’re in a better place. I have a huge advantage in first round because I have nothing to lose. I’m here to test and practice and look forward to next year. Jerry is here trying to win a championship and I feel absolutely no pressure.”
ANGELLE SAMPEY, PSE/TEAM LIBERTY RACING VICTORY MAGNUM
Q1: 7.100-seconds, 185.21 mph
Q2: 7.053, 185.59
Q3: 6.977, 188.52
Q4: 7.001, 189.66
Qualified: No. 9
First Round Opponent: Jerry Savoie
CORY REED, PSE/TEAM LIBERTY RACING VICTORY MAGNUM
Q1: 7.173, 184.04
Q2: 7.130, 184.80
Q3: 7.172, 182.35
Q4: 6.233 181.59