G2 Look for 3peat in Vegas As Chip Ellis steered the G2 Motorsports rig just east of Amarillo, Texas, he was driven by his destination--The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Chip's won the last two NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle races there and has...
G2 Look for 3peat in Vegas
As Chip Ellis steered the G2 Motorsports rig just east of Amarillo, Texas, he was driven by his destination--The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Chip's won the last two NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle races there and has no intention of giving up his spot in the Vegas winners circle. "Yeah, I like Vegas," said Ellis. "It's always been very good to me. I never won any money at the tables out there, but I've won a few races."
"It would be nice for a three-peat," agreed G2's George Smith. "We've been struggling to get Chip's bike back to the performance level we had at Sonoma. I think we've achieved that and we're looking forward to returning to the top level in Las Vegas."
To that end, the boys back at the S&S Cycle motor room have been working overtime. "Charlie Hadayia and his gang of guys at S&S are developing and testing new camshafts and valvetrain parts that we may be able to try at Vegas and Pomona," said G2 tuner/crew chief George Bryce. "Once they work, we'll be able to supply them to the rest of the Buell teams."
It's been a long layoff since the Maple Grove race, and in addition to the S&S motor room, the G2 trackside crew has been busy as well. Ellis and Matt Smith and the team went to the AHDRA race at Steve Earwood's great track in Rockingham, North Carolina to do some testing and show off in front of the fans. "Rockingham was great!" said Bryce. "The race was presented by DRAG Specialties and they were all there. It was neat to show off the DRAG Specialties bike in front of all their crew and customers. We went all 6's-6.97 with Chip and 6.96 with Matt. They raced each other three times for a dollar and had under a hundredth margin of victory each time. The weather was gorgeous, there was a very good crowd and they went crazy. The crowd appreciated that they were seeing the bikes that they'd seen win on TV and they made it loud and clear. We sold a lot of T-shirts and met a lot of really cool people."
"We had a real good time," agreed Chip, who won two out of the three races against Matt and came out a dollar ahead. "Both bikes ran good and we learned some stuff. Hopefully it'll all work out and we can try that stuff out at Vegas."
The Rockingham race was a home event for Matt, who picked up some extra work while he was there. "I got hooked up with some people at the AHDRA race and I've been tuning their Destroyer bikes and stuff," said Matt. "We ran another motor in the Torco Race Fuels/Skull Gear Buell and it seemed to be really be fast. But we put the motor from Memphis and Indy back in the bike for Vegas."
Matt and his new chief mechanic Randal Welch were obviously working well together at Rockingham and are both hoping to derail Chip's three-peat hopes at Vegas. Matt feels his pedigree so far at The Strip gives him good grounding to do so. "Two years ago with the Suzuki I qualified fifth, and last year with G2 I qualified third or fourth. I've always won first round, so it's been a good track for me. I'm looking forward to winning some rounds this weekend and getting back to fifth in points. That's my main goal."
"We're the defending Vegas champs two years in a row and we've got to do the best we can to continue that heritage," added Bryce. "Everything's on the road and we're prepared to run well, 'cause the rig's not coming home in between the last two races."
And Ellis (whose CB handle is 'Tator Chip') and his chief mechanic Ken Johnson (known as 'Mad Dog' on the mic) are looking forward to the time out West. "It's been a long time since we were racing at an NHRA event, but with the AHDRA race it hasn't been a long time since we've been at the track," said Chip. "And I'm really looking forward to getting back to racing again."
-credit: G2 Motorsports