Chip Ellis Dallas preview, Memphis summary

Ellis and G2 again lead PSM field For the third time in the last four races, Chip Ellis qualified his DRAG Specialties/S&S powered Buell number one at the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis. This time, Ellis led the Pro Stock...

Ellis and G2 again lead PSM field

For the third time in the last four races, Chip Ellis qualified his DRAG Specialties/S&S powered Buell number one at the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis. This time, Ellis led the Pro Stock Motorcycle field from first round to last.

The G2 team appears to have gotten their performance ducks lined up in a row just in time to peak for the NHRA's Countdown to the Championship. "We were trying so much stuff early on that the bike never felt the same two weeks in a row," said Ellis. "Now it's working good and making good power. Everything's dialed in just right and right now we're there."

Like many of the top Pro Stock Motorcycle drivers, Ellis has struggled this year with finding his range on the tree, occasionally hitting the mark wide one way or another. Raceday in Memphis proved no exception.

"All during qualifying I hit the tree hard and didn't come close to redlighting," said Ellis. "Then I saw Matt Smith and Chris Rivas redlight in first round and I thought about that and had that .133. So for second round I thought 'I'll just go up there and hit the tree as hard as I want and what it will be is what it will be.'" Which, unfortunately, turned out to be a redeye.

"Chip second guessed himself on the light he wanted to cut and how he wanted to cut it," said G2 co-owner George Bryce. "It cost him a redlight. But we went over it and we figured it out and he'll be prepared for Dallas."

"Chip maintained his fourth position in the Countdown, and it was very gratifying for all the work we've done at G2 to make the bike fast enough to qualify number one, set low ET with the second quickest ET in NHRA history, and run high MPH. George Smith outdid himself on the tuning of the machine to get it to go as fast as he did. But we're fourth in the Countdown, and we need to be at least fourth after Dallas (where the cut-off for the final four occurs). The S&S powered machine is prepared and we'll be ready."

"We have a fast motorcycle-fast enough to be in the top four," said George Smith, G2 co-owner and crew chief. "We have to qualify high and win two rounds in Dallas, minimum. We need a win, but we at least have to get to the semifinals. It's not too late. We have one more chance, and if we make it work there, we'll have more chances."

"It ain't over yet," agreed Ellis. "We've still got a good shot. We ran good and we've got a good set-up going into Dallas. All we've got to do is go there and go three rounds. Maybe we'll get a little luck and I can get my head together and we can pull the deal off."

On Monday following the Memphis race, the G2 team tested their newest bike with driver with Blaine Hale. "Blaine and his dad have a sponsor and it's their intention to enter the Dallas race on a lease arrangement," said Smith. Testing went well and by his third pass, Hale was running 7.0s on the turnkey, S&S powered, G2 Buell.

-credit: G2 Motorsports

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Blaine Hale , George Bryce , George Smith , Chris Rivas , Chip Ellis , Matt Smith