: Each side is valuable. In one sense, you’re lucky because now you have the best of both worlds.

AS: That's why I think this time around is going to be even more fun for me. The pressure's off. I've accomplished just about everything I wanted to accomplish, except for that “winningest rider” [label]. I'd like to do that. Whether or not that happens, I don’t know. But I'm definitely going to stand back more this time around and enjoy what's happened.

I was so worried about my performance and winning that I didn’t even enjoy the ride most of the time. I went to so many places in the country and I didn’t see anything. That's one thing I thought about: You know how many times I've been to Las Vegas and never went to see the Grand Canyon? How stupid was I? There were so many places I went and didn’t enjoy the scenery, because I was 100-percent about winning. That's all I thought about.

: Steve Johnson recently made that point about himself.

AS: We're so busy and so consumed with what we're doing at the racetrack, so worried about getting there and getting back home that we don’t stop and smell the roses. I just never did it. But this time around, I'd like to try to have my family with me when I can and maybe take an extra day or two and do something before or after and just have fun rather than put so much pressure on myself. I think George is in the same place, too. That’s what he wants, too.

: It’s a different world you’re coming back to, especially with so many more women racing that gender isn’t any longer a big issue.

AS: Erica Enders[-Stevens] and I were texting each other. She and I were on the flight together on the way home from Dallas. We’ve been friends for a while now. She was texting about hanging out more and doing things together. I told her, “Oh, man, that's so awesome. You don’t even know how much that means to me.” It's hard to be on the road alone. My team is awesome. I love 'em. But it’s not the same as having a girl to talk to when you need it. She understands if Richie [husband Richie Stevens] can't be there how she feels. I said, 'Let's show our faces together a lot more. Let's do some things together.' She lives in New Orleans now, with Richie, so we’re going to try to plan our flights together so we won’t be traveling and sitting in an airport all alone. We’re going to keep up with each other on that, too.

She said she knows I'm going to miss Ava so she welcomed me over to her pits as often as I need to be there. She said, 'We'll do whatever we need to do to keep your mind occupied so you don’t miss that little girl.' That kind of support from a female who understands things more than a guy does is going to be so much better. I didn’t have that the first time around."

: That’s true. The prejudice has all but disappeared now. And for those who still are criticizing, well, to heck with them.

AS: Even with the fans, there's some negativity. They'll get on the Internet and bash you here and there. Guys don’t get it. They say, “Who cares? Why do you care what people say? Don’t even worry about it,” But Erica gets it. Erica goes through the same thing. So she and I kind of lean on each other. People say the meanest things. Mine is my marriages and my past names.

: Speaking of which . . . How would you like people to refer to you? How do you want your name mentioned? Is it “Sampey-Drago?”

AS: There’s no hyphen. I don’t know who put that hyphen in there and where they’re getting it. But you are more than welcome to use just “Angelle Sampey.” That’s what I asked them to do, and NHRA didn’t do it. That’s what I want. I just want to go under Sampey for racing and Drago in my personal life. I told George I would like to try to brand myself – which I had done before for quite a while towards the end of my career - as just "Angelle." It was on my hand-out flyers and on my T-shirts, just “Angelle.”