NHRA.com exclusive: Reed announces formation of new Pro Stock Motorcycle team
by Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Cory Reed, one of the leading candidates for the NHRA rookie of the year award, has announced plans to form his own Pro Stock Motorcycle team for the 2017 season. Reed’s new team will be closely aligned with the Colorado-based Y-Not Racing Team that currently includes his mother, Annie Whiteley’s Top Alcohol Funny Car, and the Pro Mod entries of his step-father, Jim Whiteley, and step-brother, Steven Whiteley.
In a related announcement, Reed confirmed that his current teammate, three-time NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Angelle Sampey, will join him in a newly-created role of team manager.
While they continue to finalize plans for the new venture, Reed and Sampey will finish the 2016 season as members of the Star Racing team. In his first full season in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Reed qualified his Star/PSE Buell for the prestigious Countdown to the Championship. The Grand Junction, Colo., racer is currently ranked No. 10 in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock Motorcycle class.
Sampey, a 42-time national event winner, is currently ranked third following the recent NHRA Carolina Nationals. Sampey returned to the Pro Stock Motorcycle class last season following a seven-year hiatus. Earlier this season, she rode to her 42nd career victory at the Toyota Summernationals in Englishtown.
“From day one, it has been my dream to own and operate my own professional drag racing team and today I’m happy to announce that we’ve moved a step closer to making that dream a reality,” said Reed, 23. “While this has always been a long-term goal, some opportunities have recently become available that have accelerated our time table. I’ve learned a lot about racing a Pro Stock Motorcycle in the last year and I look forward to continuing that education.
“I’m also excited to explore the business side of racing which is why my family and I have asked Angelle to help manage our team," Reed said. "Angelle has more than 20-years of experience out here, and she knows the sport inside and out. We both have the same goal of building a winning organization. I understand that this is a big project, but we’re committed to building a program that will have long-term success.”
With her 42 wins and three championships, Sampey, 46, is NHRA’s winningest female racer, and she is also one of the sport’s most recognizable stars. Two decades after her debut as an NHRA pro, Sampey has recently began to evaluate her future in the sport, The opportunity to manage a new team presented not only a very appealing challenge, but also a prospect for long-term stability.
“I’ve always wanted the chance to explore the management side of this business but I was not quite sure the opportunity would ever present itself,” said Sampey. “I’m very excited to have a chance to manage a team, and to mentor a very talented young racer like Cory. I think people are just starting to realize that he is the real deal and he is one of the future stars of the sport. I am honored that the Whiteley family has trusted me to be a part of their new venture.
“I also have to thank George and Jackie Bryce and everyone at Star Racing for everything that they have done for me since my NHRA debut in 1996,” Sampey said. “I have learned so much from them in every aspect of racing and in life and that allows me to move forward and be confident in this new role. This is a bittersweet moment for me but I want them to know that they will always be a part of my extended family.”
While their primary focus remains the pursuit of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello championship and for Reed, the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future award, Reed and Sampey are in the process of finalizing several key components of their new team. They plan to announce additional details of their new venture, including a manufacturer’s affiliation, crew chief, and team partners at a later date.
courtesy of the NHRA