Sonoma: Chip Ellis final report

SUZUKI RIDER ELLIS EARNS SEMIFINAL FINISH IN SONOMA SONOMA, Calif. (July 27, 2008) -- Schumacher Electric Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chip Ellis reached the semifinals today at the FRAM--Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway. Ellis...

SUZUKI RIDER ELLIS EARNS SEMIFINAL FINISH IN SONOMA

SONOMA, Calif. (July 27, 2008) -- Schumacher Electric Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chip Ellis reached the semifinals today at the FRAM--Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway. Ellis suffered a red-light start that kept him from having any chance of advancing to his third final round of the season. It was his fourth semifinal appearance of the year and he maintained the No. 3 position in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series point standings.

Ellis won a close first-round race against Peggy Llewellyn with a 6.953-second elapsed time at 192.28 mph to Llewellyn's 7.019/190.59. The margin of victory was a mere seven-thousandths of a second. He then defeated Angelle Sampey with a solid 6.922/193.07 pass after Sampey red-lighted, which disqualified her 7.008/189.55 run.

The Florida native left the starting line 12-hundredths of a second too soon in his semifinal race against Matt Guidera, who claimed the win with a 7.125/182.03 to Ellis' 7.057/185.46.

"The first round we ran a 6.95 and we left a little bit out there," said Ellis. "The second round I think we got all we could get running a 6.92. The crazy thing about this race track is that when it hits about three o'clock in the afternoon the wind turns around and changes into a head wind. When we left the trailer there was a tail wind and when we got up to the starting line it was a head wind, so we probably should have made a gear change to compensate for the wind. Unfortunately, I red-lighted, so no matter what gear we would have put on it wouldn't have mattered.

"Overall, if you look at the big picture, we went a couple of rounds today. We gained some points on Matt Smith (No. 2 in the rankings) and pulled a little further ahead of Chris Rivas (No. 4). The Schumacher Electric Suzuki ran great today. (Crew chief) Steve Tartaglia did his job as always and I didn't do mine.

"It's tough racing out there. Two races in a row I've had a red light. I just need to get back to the DSR shop and keep working on those reaction times. As a team we just need to hold our heads up and keep digging."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Peggy Llewellyn , Chris Rivas , Chip Ellis , Matt Guidera , Angelle Sampey , Steve Tartaglia , Matt Smith