| Angelle Savoie was spat
on and told, "Strap on your balls and race like a man." The trauma this
30-year-old former intensive-care nurse saw at Ascension Hospital in New
Orleans was mild, compared to what she encountered on the way to an NHRA
Winston Pro Stock Motorcycle championship.
But her prescription for shutting up her critics was simple: winning.
Angelle Seeling Savoie has ridden her initials off on her Team Winston Suzuki. And today she can say, "They tell me I'm an awesome racer. What are they going to say? I'm the world champion. They can't say that I suck."
Let 'em try. She's over that. She tells Drag Racing Online what it's like to be compared to Shirley Muldowney, how her marriage to pro football player Nicky Savoie is changing her life and career, and just how family barbecues, pregnant valedictorians and John Force's Funny Car record fit in this "traveling-circus soap opera" in which she stars.
DRO: HOW HAS THIS MATTER OF TYING SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY'S RECORD FOR THE MOST CAREER NHRA VICTORIES BY A FEMALE COMPETITOR AFFECTED YOUR SEASON?
AS: Somebody told me and I thought, "Really? Oh, well, so what?" I really didn't care about it. It was kind of stupid to me, I guess, because she's won three championships and to me, if I win more races than her, I'm still not a three-time world champion. I've used it to my advantage by concentrating on that. It gave me a goal to look at. It's taken the pressure off concentrating on the championship. If I can just focus on just this one race and think about tying Shirley, I'll forget about the Winston championship and that's the thing that really causes a lot of stress. So I decided I was going to make this important to me. If I can just win one more race to tie her then win one more to beat her, then those points are going to come and I don't have to worry about them. And then I'll be a two-time world champion and I'll have only one more to go to catch up with her.
DRO: DO YOU WANT TO SCREAM TO PEOPLE JUST HOW HARD IT IS TO
WIN ONE RACE AT ALL? AND DO YOU WISH THE SCHEDULE WERE LONGER?
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