Early Exit has Ellis Looking for Answers Before the Countdown The DRAG Specialties/S&S powered Buell was again the Pro Stock Motorcycle to beat at the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals. But for the second race in a row, a late light by driver Chip Ellis...
Early Exit has Ellis Looking for Answers Before the Countdown
The DRAG Specialties/S&S powered Buell was again the Pro Stock Motorcycle to beat at the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals. But for the second race in a row, a late light by driver Chip Ellis put the G2 Motorsports flagship entry on the trailer early. Fortunately, Ellis was already locked into the NHRA's Countdown to the Championship, which starts Labor Day weekend at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
Ellis and the team spent Friday's qualifying sessions at Maple Grove trying out some new parts. "It was an R&D thing that wasn't panning out," said George Smith, the G2 Motorsports president and crew chief on Ellis's bike.
The team put the engine that qualified number one at Brainerd in the bike Friday night and it responded immediately to the change Saturday morning. Ellis almost dipped into the 6.80s despite fishtailing off the starting line.
"It spun out pretty bad," stated Ellis. "The motor's making good power, we just gotta get the clutch right."
On Sunday morning, Smith and the team felt like they had the DRAG Specialties/S&S powered Buell dialed in perfectly. "Today's the last 'practice' before the Countdown begins at Indy," said Smith. "We want to peak at Indy, and it looks like we have the opportunity to do it. The last two weeks, our R&D effort has paid off big time. It couldn't have come at a better time. It's obvious that we're very competitive again and our challenge is to get all the power to the track and leave the line consistently."
After rain on Sunday, racing finally resumed on Monday.
"Chip has been struggling with lights and he's trying to fix it all by himself," said Smith. "George (Bryce, the G2 co-owner and legendary rider coach) has been around a long time and is an excellent coach. I think the best way is for Chip to get with George and go back to basics."
"At Brainerd, I'm not making excuses, but I know what happened," said Ellis. "But this weekend I don't even know what happened. I told George Bryce that I needed his help, so I'm gonna get with him and see what's going on."
"We were really proud to have our two bikes qualify so high in the field for the second week in a row," Bryce said about the DRAG Specialties/S&S Cycle Buell of Ellis and the Karl Klement Racing Buell of Peggy Llewellyn that Bryce helps tune. Llewellyn qualified third just behind Ellis and ran a career best 6.92 during eliminations.
"We are also very proud of our G2 customers," said Jackie Bryce, G2 Director of Operations. "Hector Arana, for a second week in a row, did a great job with his program, and AHDRA racer David Hope came to an NHRA race for the first time and continually improved. It was an awesome race between Chris Rivas and Matt Guidera in the semis. Chris made it that far with a brand new 'stock' S&S engine Matt Smith had just taken delivery of. We especially want to congratulate Matt Guidera and his entire team for their first ever NHRA win."
Smith concluded by stating that "The PSM class is very competitive and we're having fun with the tight competition. The next race at Indy is hosted by Mac Tools, so we'll be celebrating our partnership with them as well as the folks that will be there from Mazak Machine Tool."
A rebooted Chip Ellis will be working as hard as usual and seeking to redeem himself on drag racing's biggest stage.
Ellis and the G2 team race next at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, August 29-September 3 at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Indiana.
-credit: G2 Motorsports