Baytown: Chip Ellis Saturday notes

ELLIS QUALIFIES SCHUMACHER ELECTRIC SUZUKI NO. 2 IN HOUSTON BAYTOWN, Texas (March 29, 2008) -- Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Chip Ellis rode the Schumacher Electric Suzuki into the No. 2 qualifying position today at the NHRA Spring Nationals at ...

ELLIS QUALIFIES SCHUMACHER ELECTRIC SUZUKI NO. 2 IN HOUSTON

BAYTOWN, Texas (March 29, 2008) -- Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Chip Ellis rode the Schumacher Electric Suzuki into the No. 2 qualifying position today at the NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, the second PSM round of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Ellis entered Saturday's final pair of professional qualifying sessions from the No. 3 position after recording a 6.982-second elapsed time at 190.30 mph during Friday's second session. The Florida native saved his best qualifying run of the weekend for the final pass on Saturday, registering a 6.970/190.57 lap to move him into No. 2 for Sunday's eliminations.

"So far, so good," said Ellis. "The Schumacher Electric Suzuki is running great and crew chief Steve Tartaglia is doing an excellent job of tuning it up. I think we actually stumbled onto something on that last run. We may have possibly had a bad rear tire and we changed it and the bike is handling like it should. It went really straight on that last run. I'm very pleased with the results thus far this weekend, and all we need to do is do it four times tomorrow and we'll be good to go."

Ellis wasn't concerned after the NHRA Technical Services Department announced weight adjustments for the Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors following the recent Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., the first PSM event of the season. The change requires all S&S Buell V-Twin entries to weigh 625 pounds, an increase of five pounds. In addition, the two-valve Suzuki 101-cid in-line four-cylinder combination will be reduced from 610 pounds to 605 pounds. The 101-cid Kawasaki four-valve in-line four-cylinder combination has been reduced from 615 pounds to 600 pounds. The Harley-Davidson V-Rod weight will remain at 620 pounds. All weights include rider.

"I think they're just trying to create parity in the class and they felt like that was the change they had to make," said Ellis. "Personally, I think five pounds off of our bikes and five on the Buells is not going to make any difference. The results are speaking for themselves. You still have a Buell (No. 1 qualifier Matt Smith) that is five hundredths of a second quicker than the next fastest bike. But I don't really think you can penalize a whole fleet of bikes for one bike that's running good."

Ellis will face Angie McBride during the first round of eliminations Sunday morning.

"If we can make four runs tomorrow like the run we made in the heat this afternoon I think we can get us a Wally (winner's trophy named for NHRA founder Wally Parks)."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Chip Ellis , Angie McBride , Steve Tartaglia , Matt Smith