Chip Ellis captures first No. 1 for G Squared Motorsports CLERMONT, Ind. (September 5, 2004) -- Jim Nabors, who played Gomer Pyle on the Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, USMC back when black and white were the only colors you could get on a...
Chip Ellis captures first No. 1 for G Squared Motorsports
CLERMONT, Ind. (September 5, 2004) -- Jim Nabors, who played Gomer Pyle on the Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, USMC back when black and white were the only colors you could get on a television set, had a favorite saying: Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!
How aptly this saying applies to the G2/S&S/Star Racing Buell, prepared and owned by G Squared Motorsports and driven by newcomer Chip Ellis.
G Squared Motorsports, owned by George Bryce and George Smith, returned to action at the 50th annual NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals after a four-race hiatus and immediately became the talk of the pit area by qualifying No. 2 on Friday.
Then the conversation picked up again on Saturday, when Ellis craved out a 7.137-second pass to takeover the top rung on the qualifying ladder after three of five qualifying session.
Ellis and the G2/S&S/Star Racing Team went out in the first qualifying session on Sunday and lowered the low elapsed time to 7.115 seconds. His speed was his fastest of the weekend 186.85 mph. Now Indianapolis Raceway Park was abuzz.
After five sessions of qualifying ended at the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the Bryce & Smith G2/S&S/Star Racing Buell with Ellis aboard was No.1. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!
"Like I've said before, the time off has paid off for us," said Bryce. "Let me explain what time off is for us. It means we work a lot harder than when we come to the races. We stayed home and did the development work required. The S&S guys came up with some more horsepower. The team at G Squared and Star Racing did a lot of changes to the bike to make it user friendly and tunable, resulting in better performance.
"And after all the development was completed, our new driver, Chip Ellis painted the bike. Since this is his first trip to Indy, we keep him away from getting caught up in the festivities that surround the event. To him it's just a test session. I like the way he's thinking right now. He just wants to make the bike go straight and fast."
Ellis, who became the first rookie in Pro Stock Bike to win a No. 1 qualify position in his first race, had the following to say regarding claiming the top position. "I just treated this like a test session. After all I've only been on this bike for eight runs. I'm still trying to get use to it. I'm just trying to remaining calm out there. I'm having fun.
"George Bryce's 50th birthday is on Monday and the finals of the 50th anniversary U.S. Nationals are on Monday. I would love to give George a win on his birthday. That's a high goal to set, especially in my first NHRA race, but to do it would be awesome."
George Smith continued to give accolades to all the people at S&S Cycle, Star Racing and G Squared Motorsports for making this No.1 qualifying position happen. "It took a lot of hard work from a lot of people to make this happen," said Smith. "We appreciate their effort."
Ellis will face Kurt Matte in the first round of his first NHRA eliminations. Matte qualified No. 16 with a pass of 7.264 seconds at 183.82 mph.
Final eliminations for all classes get underway on Monday, Labor Day at 11 a.m. This time is subject to change and reflect Eastern Standard Time (EST) -- (At this time of the year, EST is the same time as Central Daylight Time, CDT).