Commerce: Chip Ellis final report

ELLIS IS PSM RUNNER-UP IN ATLANTA COMMERCE, Ga. (April 27, 2008) -- After reaching the semifinals in the first two events of the season, Schumacher Electric Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chip Ellis made it one better at the NHRA ...

ELLIS IS PSM RUNNER-UP IN ATLANTA

COMMERCE, Ga. (April 27, 2008) -- After reaching the semifinals in the first two events of the season, Schumacher Electric Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chip Ellis made it one better at the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. He was runner-up today to Andrew Hines in the third of 17 races for the class on the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule. Ellis set low elapsed time (6.943 seconds) and top speed of the event (192.60 mph) en route to his eighth career final round.

Following a lengthy delay due to rain, the PSM class finally made it to the starting line at 3:30 p.m. Ellis was on his game in the first round with a solid .019-of-a-second reaction time (.000 is perfect) coupled with a 6.967-second elapsed time at 192.11 mph to defeat Junior Pippen, who was disqualified for a red-light start.

In the quarterfinals Ellis continued to run strong, recording a 7.008/189.79 to outrun Shawn Gann's 7.047/188.41 and advanced into his third consecutive semifinal of the season. Ellis enjoyed a solo run into the final after Angelle Sampey broke on her burnout. Ellis laid down the quickest and fastest run of eliminations with a 6.943/192.60 to advance to his first final of the year, where he would have lane choice over Andrew Hines.

More rain delays ensued and the Pro Stock Motorcycle final round finally took place at 7:40 p.m. Ellis made another great run in the money round with a 6.958/190.70, but Hines took the victory with a slightly quicker 6.946/191.40. In the always-tight PSM class, the margin of victory was a mere seven feet.

"I tell you, the NHRA has done a fabulous job this weekend getting this event in," said Ellis, who remained fourth in the point standings. "Mother Nature hung in there with us and the track was awesome. We had our best 60-ft. time ever and the bike ran great all weekend. Steve Tartaglia (crew chief) is a genius. He knows that motorcycle and he knows how to make it run.

"I keep saying how good our team is working together and it's showing," continued Ellis. "Two semifinals and a final round, fourth in the points in a tight race. I mean, if we keep doing this we are going to be hard to handle and we're going to get our share of wins.

"Thanks to Don Schumacher for hanging in there with us and to Suzuki and all of our sponsors. I'm fired up. I've been fired up since I got here and I'm very, very excited and I'm real happy how things went this weekend."

After struggling with his riding in qualifying, Ellis stepped up his game during eliminations.

"I struggled a little bit the first day with my riding," Ellis explained. "I had two bad lights and the bike didn't go straight, and we broke a crank. And Saturday I missed the shifter button during the first session. In the fourth qualifying round we ran a 6.97 in the heat and I knew right there that we had a fast motorcycle. Today I rode pretty near flawlessly and I'm really excited about it and I'm looking forward to the next event. I wish it was tomorrow."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Shawn Gann , Andrew Hines , Don Schumacher , Chip Ellis , Angelle Sampey , Junior Pippen