Angelle Sampey celebrates her most recent win in 2016. Photo: NHRA

NHRA: Three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champ Angelle Sampey joins Vance & Hines

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For more than two decades, Vance & Hines has been one of the premier teams in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing.

And now, three-time PSM champion Angelle Sampey will join her longtime rivals, being added to Vance & Hines’ powerful batting order.

The Santa Fe Springs, California organization announced this week that Sampey will ride a Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson Street Rod in 2019, joining new teammates Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec.

How strong will that make the now three-rider team? Hines, Krawiec and Sampey have combined for 12 championships and 137 national event wins in their overall careers. In addition to her three championships, Sampey has amassed 42 national event wins by herself, making her the most successful female competitor in all forms of motorsports.

For now, Sampey will sport V&H colors in the first four races of the PSM schedule, beginning with the 50th Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, March 14-17. Sampey will be termed a “showcase” rider at Gainesville, the two Four-Wide events at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway in suburban Charlotte, as well as the Southern Nationals in suburban Atlanta.

It’s unclear how many more races Sampey will compete in after the first quarter of the 16-race PSM national event schedule.

“It’s surreal to be getting ready to race one of these Harleys after lining up against them for so many years,” Sampey told National Dragster’s Kevin McKenna, who first broke the story. “I’m so motivated to get out there and see what I can do on the same bike as Eddie and Drew (Hines).”

Added V&H founder and former PSM great Terry Vance, “I’m truly thrilled for Angelle to have this opportunity to run with us on the Harley-Davidson Street Rod. No question, Angelle has been one of the toughest riders we’ve battled with for so many seasons out on the track. I have so much respect for her and what she has accomplished in this class, and I’m really looking forward to seeing her give the boys a run for their money on the Harley.”

Sampey first began racing on the NHRA PSM circuit more than 20 years ago in 1996. After winning three consecutive PSM championships from 2000-2002, she took a nearly decade-long hiatus from the sport to start a family. She returned to competitive racing part-time in 2015. Her most recent win was in 2016 at Englishtown, New Jersey.

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Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have 10,000 fans for IndyCar races

Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans
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Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have crowds for its NTT IndyCar Series race weekend next month, the first time fans are allowed at the track this year.

The track announced Friday that up to 10,000 fans will be allowed in the grandstands daily from Oct. 1-4. The IndyCar Harvest GP race doubleheader will be held on the track’s road course Oct. 2-3.

IMS has played host to several events this year without fans, including the 104th Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23 and a NASCAR-IndyCar weekend July 4-5 that included the Brickyard 400. Plans originally were made to have fans at the Indy 500 before reversing course a few weeks ahead of the race. In a letter last month, Roger Penske vowed that fans would return for the 2021 Indy 500.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS president Doug Boles said in a release. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

Fans will undergo temperature screenings upon entry and also be required to wear face coverings at all times on property. The track said each attendee will receive a mask and bottle of hand sanitizer.

Here’s the release from Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 – For the first time in 2020, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will welcome fans to the Racing Capital of the World for the INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR weekend. Up to 10,000 spectators can be in the grandstands each day of racing action Oct. 1-4, per approval from the Marion County Public Health Department.

Tickets are available now via IMS.com and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

The massive facility, which holds more than 300,000 people, will provide two spectator zones with up to 5,000 fans in each. The zones will be located in Turns 1 and 4 of the oval, offering strong sightlines of the road course. Strict health and safety rules will be in place, including the following:

  • Face coverings must be worn throughout the property at all times;
  • All fans will receive temperature screenings before gate entry;
  • Grandstand seats will be marked for distancing;
  • Attendees must use pre-assigned gates and remain in their designated zones.

Global Medical Response, the world leader in compassionate, quality emergency medical and patient relocation services, will be the presenting sponsor of the penultimate weekend of INDYCAR racing this season.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

The plan, which includes each attendee receiving a mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer upon entering the track, was developed in consultation with state and local health officials.

This event weekend is highlighted by an NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader, with races Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3. It will be the penultimate event of the series’ season as the field pursues the champion’s prestigious Astor Challenge Cup to be awarded Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The INDYCAR Harvest GP will pay tribute to a storied IMS event, the Harvest Classic in September 1916. The Harvest Classic was the only racing event held outside of May at IMS from 1911 through 1993. The event featured three races, all won by legendary driver Johnny Aitken.

Fans also will see a host of facility improvements during the event weekend, including more than 30 new LED video boards, refreshed concession stands and restrooms, and 5G wireless connectivity throughout the facility.

The first race will air at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Friday, Oct. 2 on the USA Network. NBC will broadcast the second race at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Oct. 3, with WTHR-13 airing the action live in Central Indiana.

Also racing that weekend will be the first pairing of two major sports car series — the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli and its North American counterpart, GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS. Former Indianapolis 500 pole winner Ryan Briscoe is among the drivers in the Indianapolis 8 Hour event held Sunday, Oct. 4.

The event also will showcase drivers in SRO America’s Pirelli GT4 America, GT Sports Club America and the TC America series.

The full on-track schedule is available at IMS.com.