Sonoma: G2 Motorsports preview

Chip Ellis/Matt Smith/G2 Motorsports NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Pre-Race Team Report G2 Looks to Regain Raceday Touch in Sonoma The G2 Motorsports NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle teams qualified well last time out in Denver, with Chip Ellis and the...

Chip Ellis/Matt Smith/G2 Motorsports NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Pre-Race Team Report

G2 Looks to Regain Raceday Touch in Sonoma

The G2 Motorsports NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle teams qualified well last time out in Denver, with Chip Ellis and the DRAG Specialties/S&S Cycle Buell qualifying number 1 for the fourth time this season. But raceday was a throwback to the spring, when qualifying dominance turned to Sunday disappointment. Matt Smith lost on a holeshot in round 1 aboard the Torco Race Fuels/Skull Gear Buell, and the DRAG Specialties/S&S bike transmission failed to shift in the second round.

The team intends to qualify well this weekend at the Fram Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, really well. But they also intend to rid Sunday of the mistakes and gremlins that were thought dismissed during the team's mid summer win streak.

Ironically, Ellis also had transmission woes last year at Sonoma. "I hope we got that ironed out for this year," said Ellis. "We're gonna look at the transmission and see what's going on with that from the last race."

"Chip's transmission shifting failure in the second round in Denver was a setback, a major disappointment," said George Smith of G2. "We went from an emotional high to the bottom in a few seconds."

Matt Smith's emotional bottom came one round earlier, and he doesn't intend on it happening again in Sonoma. "We qualified well in Denver, but I have been so leery on my lights," said Smith. "I know I can do a good job for the team and I'm just not gonna worry about redlights."

Busy Off Week

Matt spent the off week working on customer bikes and his dad Rickie Smith's race car. "I helped my dad with his Pro Mod car and the week before that I got a Pro Mod bike done for a customer," said Matt, who went 4.28 in the eighth mile on the bike at the track in Farmington, North Carolina. "The customer, Mike Beverly, weighs 210 pounds and went 4.38. The fastest he's ever been before was 4.65, so he's really happy."

"I've been hanging out with my girls (wife Kathy and daughter McKenzie)," said Ellis, who also drives drag boats. "We went to the boat races in Augusta, Georgia. We were expecting to go some 9.0's but the best we went was a 10.20. The boat, which sports a Mercury outboard cranking close to 500 horsepower on the bottle, had some handling problems that we finally got figured out, then we had some nitrous problems."

"I've been working on projects in the shop," said George Bryce, the 6-time champion tuner and crew chief of G2. "We're developing a whole new team for a group out of Texas that we'll be announcing in a few months."

"The S&S powered bikes have stepped up big time this year, with Matt Smith on the Torco/Skull Gear Buell and especially Chip Ellis on the DRAG Specialties/S&S Buell," said George Smith. "S&S powered racers Tom Bradford, Ryan Schnitz and Matt Guidera are all running great also. The five number 1 qualifying positions and three wins in the last six races are impressive."

Sonoma Strategy

"It's a big shock going to Sonoma from Denver," said Bryce. "I expect the corrected altitude to be about 2,000 feet, where in Denver it was 10,000 feet. We're going do our best to adapt to the conditions. We'll swap engines for Sonoma, and during the course of the weekend we'll rebuild the Denver engines."

"We're looking forward to it," said Ellis. "We're gonna go out there and do what we've been doing."

"The biggest thing I want to do is come out here and run good," said Matt. "Last year, I lost first round to Andrew Hines, who set the national record at 6.96 against me. It's a fast track and I'm looking forward to racing there again."

"We're tired of making excuses," said Ken "Big" Johnson, crew chief on the DRAG Specialties/S&S bike. "We've got what it takes. The team has been working hard and just needs it all to come together."

"This G2 team is relentless, striving to win rounds," said George Smith, wrapping it up for the team. "We will be ready at Sonoma, and if the barometer is up as it often is at that track, don't be surprised if you see 6's."

-G2 Motorsports

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers George Bryce , George Smith , Ryan Schnitz , Andrew Hines , Chip Ellis , Matt Guidera , Matt Smith