More Than a Pretty Face

| August 31, 2001

Angelle Savoie, a 31-year-old New Orleans native who competes on the National Hot Rod Association Pro Stock Motorcycle circuit, is far more than a mere novelty. One of three women in the series, she is the defending Pro Stock champion and is currently in third place in the 2001 points standings, behind Matt Hines and Antron Brown. Her most recent event was the Spring Supernationals in Englishtown, N.J.

“Usually when we go to New Jersey, we’re stuck there all week long because it’s cold and raining,” Savoie says. “But I’m not complaining. I’ve had some good luck at that track, and we’re not going to go there thinking the odds are against us. We’re going there to win.”

The Pro Stock Motorcycle series has become one of the most popular forms of drag racing, with 250-horsepower machines going from zero to 170 in seven seconds or less. And Savoie demonstrated from the outset that she is much more than a pretty face.

The fifth different champion in Pro Stock history, Savoie is only the second female Winston champion in any professional division. Shirley Muldowney is the only other female champ in the NHRA’s 49-year history, and Savoie is just two wins away from equaling Muldowney’s 18 career victories.

“I’ve only met Shirley once or maybe twice,” Savoie says. “I’m really not sure how she feels about me getting close to her record, and to be honest, I never really thought about it much until people started telling me I was getting close.

“For a while I thought it wasn’t that big a deal, but now it’s something to shoot for. I haven’t really done that well my last two races so now it’s time for me to really push it.”

Savoie opened the 2001 season with a victory in the division’s first national event, the O’Reilly Nationals in Baytown, Texas. During qualifying for the Mac Tools Gatornationals in March, her Suzuki posted a lap of 7.239 seconds at 184.57 mph, good enough for third place.

Savoie’s quickest career pass was 7.156 seconds at Mohnton, Pa., in 2000, and her fastest pass was 188.86 mph in 1999 at Baytown. Her winning percentage of .750 is fifth among all active NHRA Winston Drag Racing competitors.

Being a female champion makes Savoie prime fodder for the rumor mill. There have been suggestions that she would leave motorcycles and try her hand at Funny Cars or Top Fuel Dragsters. A newlywed, there have even been reports that she will take time off from her career to become a mother.

Savoie laughs them off
“I think these are delightful rumors,” she says. “The only way this would be my last year riding a bike competitively would be if I got hurt. And I’m still way too young to have a child, so that’s not an option at this point. I’ve had a passion for racing motorcycles since I was 6 years old. I love fast cars, but as far as competition I love motorcycles.”

Savoie admits, however, that sometimes critics can’t get beyond her looks.

“There have been times I’d sit in my hauler and cry, wondering why people won’t just let me be a racer,” she says. “But my grandmother always tells me that controversy means popularity, so I try not to let it bother me too much. But I’d like to be judged by what I can do on my motorcycle and nothing else.”

Ricky Rudd

Rudd on the move
Although Jeff Gordon’s four checkers and a lead in the NASCAR Winston Cup points standings have positioned him as the man to beat through the first half of the 2001 season, Ricky Rudd is quietly making a move to championship contention. The driver of the Texaco/Havoline Taurus is one of the most consistent pilots of the current campaign.

More Than a Pretty Face

| August 31, 2001

Angelle Savoie, a 31-year-old New Orleans native who competes on the National Hot Rod Association Pro Stock Motorcycle circuit, is far more than a mere novelty. One of three women in the series, she is the defending Pro Stock champion and is currently in third place in the 2001 points standings, behind Matt Hines and Antron Brown. Her most recent event was the Spring Supernationals in Englishtown, N.J.

“Usually when we go to New Jersey, we’re stuck there all week long because it’s cold and raining,” Savoie says. “But I’m not complaining. I’ve had some good luck at that track, and we’re not going to go there thinking the odds are against us. We’re going there to win.”

The Pro Stock Motorcycle series has become one of the most popular forms of drag racing, with 250-horsepower machines going from zero to 170 in seven seconds or less. And Savoie demonstrated from the outset that she is much more than a pretty face.

The fifth different champion in Pro Stock history, Savoie is only the second female Winston champion in any professional division. Shirley Muldowney is the only other female champ in the NHRA’s 49-year history, and Savoie is just two wins away from equaling Muldowney’s 18 career victories.

“I’ve only met Shirley once or maybe twice,” Savoie says. “I’m really not sure how she feels about me getting close to her record, and to be honest, I never really thought about it much until people started telling me I was getting close.

“For a while I thought it wasn’t that big a deal, but now it’s something to shoot for. I haven’t really done that well my last two races so now it’s time for me to really push it.”

Savoie opened the 2001 season with a victory in the division’s first national event, the O’Reilly Nationals in Baytown, Texas. During qualifying for the Mac Tools Gatornationals in March, her Suzuki posted a lap of 7.239 seconds at 184.57 mph, good enough for third place.

Savoie’s quickest career pass was 7.156 seconds at Mohnton, Pa., in 2000, and her fastest pass was 188.86 mph in 1999 at Baytown. Her winning percentage of .750 is fifth among all active NHRA Winston Drag Racing competitors.

Being a female champion makes Savoie prime fodder for the rumor mill. There have been suggestions that she would leave motorcycles and try her hand at Funny Cars or Top Fuel Dragsters. A newlywed, there have even been reports that she will take time off from her career to become a mother.

Savoie laughs them off
“I think these are delightful rumors,” she says. “The only way this would be my last year riding a bike competitively would be if I got hurt. And I’m still way too young to have a child, so that’s not an option at this point. I’ve had a passion for racing motorcycles since I was 6 years old. I love fast cars, but as far as competition I love motorcycles.”

Savoie admits, however, that sometimes critics can’t get beyond her looks.

“There have been times I’d sit in my hauler and cry, wondering why people won’t just let me be a racer,” she says. “But my grandmother always tells me that controversy means popularity, so I try not to let it bother me too much. But I’d like to be judged by what I can do on my motorcycle and nothing else.”

Ricky Rudd

Rudd on the move
Although Jeff Gordon’s four checkers and a lead in the NASCAR Winston Cup points standings have positioned him as the man to beat through the first half of the 2001 season, Ricky Rudd is quietly making a move to championship contention. The driver of the Texaco/Havoline Taurus is one of the most consistent pilots of the current campaign.

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