SCHUMACHER ELECTRIC SUZUKI RIDER ELLIS REACHES QUARTERFINALS IN READING MOHNTON, PA. (Aug. 17, 2008) -- Schumacher Electric Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chip Ellis advanced to the quarterfinals today at the 24th annual NHRA Nationals at...
SCHUMACHER ELECTRIC SUZUKI RIDER ELLIS REACHES QUARTERFINALS IN READING
MOHNTON, PA. (Aug. 17, 2008) -- Schumacher Electric Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chip Ellis advanced to the quarterfinals today at the 24th annual NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. It was Ellis' second quarterfinal finish in the past five races and he remained No. 3 in the point standings. One race remains until the beginning of the Countdown to 1, the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series six-race playoffs for the championship.
Ellis, who clinched a berth in the Countdown to 1 last weekend in Brainerd, Minn., defeated Shawn Gann in round one with an elapsed time of 6.937 seconds at 190.94 mph to Gann's 7.101/188.62. In the quarterfinals the Suzuki rider was .003 of a second too quick off the starting line, which resulted in a red light and a disqualification of his 6.956/191.92, giving the win to Karen Stoffer who ran a slower yet winning 7.072/189.04.
With nine red light starts recorded today in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class during eliminations (the record is 11 in any class), Ellis was among a handful of top riders who red-lighted.
"The Pro Stock Motorcycles are the quickest reacting vehicles on the premises," said Ellis, who is in his first season riding for Don Schumacher Racing. "If you hold back you're late and if don't hold back you go red. It's a constant battle on the starting line for the bikes. I missed the green light today by three-thousandths of a second and it's frustrating. If there is any comfort in it it's that there are a lot of other really good riders out here who are going through the same frustration I am. It's a very tricky situation. If you roll in a half an inch too deep, if the roll out is different in the staging beams, or if there is a crown in the track, it can affect the bikes. They're just so sensitive. We just have to find a happy medium and continue to march forward.
"All we can do is keep holding our heads up. We've got a great team with great sponsors and a championship-winning bike. I just need to step up to the plate and be a championship driver. We just got to keep it green."
With his sixth No. 2 qualifying effort of the season Ellis qualified No. 1 for the 2008 Ringers Glove Pro Bike Battle that will take place during qualifying at the U.S. Nationals Labor Day weekend. The eight Pro Stock Motorcycles who have earned the most points during qualifying a 16-race span will compete. Ellis, who will be making his fourth appearance in the bonus event, is a three-time runner-up for the $25,000 winner's purse.
The next race for Ellis and The Schumacher Electric Suzuki team is 54th annual U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, Aug. 29-Sept. 1.