Gainesville: Chip Ellis Saturday notes

ELLIS QUALIFIES SCHUMACHER ELECTRIC SUZUKI NO. 5 IN HIS FIRST RACE WITH DSR GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2008) -- In his first national event since joining Don Schumacher Racing, Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chip Ellis qualified the Schumacher ...

ELLIS QUALIFIES SCHUMACHER ELECTRIC SUZUKI NO. 5 IN HIS FIRST RACE WITH DSR

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2008) -- In his first national event since joining Don Schumacher Racing, Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chip Ellis qualified the Schumacher Electric Suzuki in No. 5 for the NHRA Gatornationals, the first of 17 races scheduled for that class in the 2008 POWERade Drag Racing Series. His was the quickest Suzuki in the field.

Rain canceled all qualifying on Friday, leaving the teams with just two runs on Saturday to attempt to qualify for Sunday's eliminations.

Ellis began the day posting an elapsed time of 7.016 seconds at 187.08 mph in the first session to earn the No. 5 spot. The Florida native returned for the second session and laid down a solid 7.023/187.70 lap to remain in No. 5 going into Sunday's eliminations.

"The Schumacher Electric Suzuki ran great all day," said Ellis. "We have the fastest Suzuki in the field so that makes me happy. Just to be part of the Don Schumacher Racing operation is great."

Saturday's windy conditions at Gainesville Raceway didn't affect Ellis during his pair of qualifying runs.

"It's windy out there, but as long as it's not a bad cross wind it's OK," explained Ellis. "It was kind of a crossing tail wind, so it was fine. The track's in real good shape. Our goal was to be in the top six because we knew there was a bunch of fast V-Twins. For us to be the fastest Suzuki is great."

Ellis will have lane choice over Shawn Gann during the first round of eliminations on Sunday.

"I'm just going to go out there and do what I've been doing all through testing and all today," Ellis said. "I've been working on just cutting good lights. It doesn't matter who's in the other lane. I proved that to myself this morning when I ran against Angelle Sampey in the first round of qualifying. That was a pretty important run for me, just to go out there and see if we could hang with the Buell that she's riding, and we did.

"I'm just ready to go for tomorrow. I feel more confident now than I felt any time last year. The entire team is getting along great and we're all working hard together and these guys have given me a great motorcycle to ride. I'm just happy to be here. I've got a great bike, a great crew and there's no reason why we can't pull this deal off tomorrow."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Shawn Gann , Don Schumacher , Chip Ellis , Angelle Sampey