Ellis Expects to Rebound at Home Event Chip Ellis, driver of the DRAG Specialties/S&S powered Buell, will have plenty of support from DRAG Specialties dealers and the G2 Motorsports staff when he looks to put two first round Pro Stock Motorcycle...
Ellis Expects to Rebound at Home Event
Chip Ellis, driver of the DRAG Specialties/S&S powered Buell, will have plenty of support from DRAG Specialties dealers and the G2 Motorsports staff when he looks to put two first round Pro Stock Motorcycle losses behind him this weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Not only is Atlanta the home state race for the Americus, Georgia based G2 Motorsports, it will also be the first event of 2007 that gets DRAG Specialties's full hospitality treatment. "They're gonna have their rig there and that should be a lot of fun," said George Smith, G2 Motorsports president and crew chief for the DRAG Specialties Buell.
"Atlanta's like a hometown race for us," said Jackie Bryce, G2's vice president of operations. "A lot of the G2 team members that don't normally get to go to the track will there. Not only will they get to see us and our customers in action, but they'll also get to meet the DRAG Specialties people."
"It will be nice for them to come hang out and see what goes on," agreed Ellis, who's been testing both himself and his bike in an effort to exorcise the starting line demons that have plagued him (and a good portion of the Pro Stock Motorcycle field) in the first two races of 2007. "We've been testing quite a bit, trying to get this starting line situation figured out. We've been trying some different things and I think we're onto something. We're just trying to slow the way the bike reacts."
"We're struggling with the clocks, as are all the Pro Stock Motorcycle riders," said Smith. "The bikes are so quick to react and the riders are so quick, especially with the LED lights. Everybody's in the same boat. It's THE issue in the class right now. So we've been testing at South Georgia Motorsports Park and working on Chip and the bike leaving the starting line."
"We're part of the way there, but it's still really quick," said George Bryce, G2 director of racing operations. "We keep coming up with ideas as a group, and if we keep trying stuff we'll figure it out."
"The bike rode real well and Chip was consistent," said Smith. "The problem is that he can redlight most anytime he truly leaves hard on the amber, so we're still trying to figure out how to slow him down and slow the bike down without ending up sitting on the starting line and losing the race."
Not that the team has neglected the bike's down-track performance. "We're always trying to make the bike faster," said Ellis. "It's been running pretty good and consistent. I'm real confident with the bike, if we can just get this reaction time thing figured out."
"We're running the latest version of the S&S fuel injection system," said Smith. "We feel it may give us the consistency we're looking for. The DRAG Specialties bike, as well as being the flagship Buell, it's also the guinea pig for testing what we can use on all of our customer's bikes."
"We tested Tuesday, and it started off pretty slow," said George Bryce. "But we kept making tuning changes and got it to go pretty quick. We ended up going a 7 flat in the heat of the day, and that was better than we expected. So we're optimistic about Atlanta."
Mainly because of its elevation, Atlanta Dragway has never been an ET leader on the NHRA circuit. But it is the site of Ellis's first AMA/Prostar win. "I beat Keith Dennis in the 600 Supersport finals in, uh, '99, I think," remembered Ellis, who spent the off time after this year's Houston race attending a family gathering in South Carolina and making a personal appearance at a Harley-Davidson dealer in Conyers, Georgia.
The G2 staff expects good performances out of all of the many S&S powered Buells in the field at Atlanta this weekend. "Our customers have been testing and it should be a good showing for all of the Buells," said Jackie Bryce. And with all the G2 and DRAG Specialties staffs in the house, it's the perfect time for it.