G2's Ellis Blisters Bandimere! Although the G2 team wasn't able to extend their NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle win streak at Denver this past weekend, the team was once again the performance leader of the class. Chip Ellis broke Bandimere's mile-high...
G2's Ellis Blisters Bandimere!
Although the G2 team wasn't able to extend their NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle win streak at Denver this past weekend, the team was once again the performance leader of the class. Chip Ellis broke Bandimere's mile-high track record by a mile on the DRAG Specialties/S&S Cycle Buell, while Matt Smith qualified fourth on the Torco Race Fuels/Skull Gear bike. On a track that had never seen a 7.30 PSM pass before, Chip laid down a 7.332 that led the field by a wide margin. Matt qualified fourth with a 7.429.
"It's very unusual racing at Colorado-it's not normal, that's for sure," said George Bryce, the G2/Star Racing builder/tuner/crew chief. "We had a good time. It's 104 degrees and you can't breathe, so I don't know how we had that much fun up there. But the bike was fast enough to make it fun, and qualifying 1 and 4 was a major accomplishment for us out of those 20 fast bikes."
Ellis knew bikes would be in the .30's at Bandimere, and he knew that his would be one of them. "But I didn't think anybody would go in the low .30's," said Chip. "I was just as surprised as everybody else was."
Raceday Ends Too Soon
Chip easily turned back Steve Johnson in round 1 of eliminations, but Matt had an uncharacteristic bad light and lost on a holeshot to number 13 qualifier Geno Scali. "That is the last race that I'm going to say I only have to have an average light when I've got the guy covered," vowed Smith. "Geno picked up four hundredths from nowhere in the worst conditions we'd run in all weekend. I'm gonna go up there and hit the tree no matter what, and if I redlight, I redlight.
"If you look back over the last few races, I'm an .04 guy with the way we've got the bikes set up. I don't know why I had an .07 that round. Nobody redlit in the class all day. When was the last time that happened in Pro Stock Motorcycles? Ryan Schnitz had an .086, and he never has lights like that."
"We're gonna help Matthew with his lights," said Bryce. "Chip went through that same thing last year, and now he's doing good."
Also doing "good" on raceday was Andrew Hines, who nailed a .006 light on Chip in round 2. The DRAG Specialties/S&S Cycle Buell probably would have carried Chip around Hines, but the transmission broke. "He didn't push the button hard enough!" crew chief Ken "Big" Johnson jokingly said about Chip.
"He's always wanting to blame somebody," laughed Ellis. "I tell you, I was pretty disgusted. We had a really, really fast motorcycle all weekend, and when something like that happens, you can't help but be disgusted. I'm disappointed, but that's the way it goes. If we raced on paper we would be winning. We've had this problem in the past, but it's kind of a fluke deal."
"We took the transmission out Sunday morning before round 1 and checked it over the way we always do," said Bryce. "It's part of our routine of good, preventative maintenance. But for the first time all weekend we were spinning in third gear, so it was hookin' and unhookin', hookin' and unhookin', and we think that might have contributed to the first loss we've had due to mechanical failure in quite some time."
Shifting to Sonoma
"We haven't taken it apart yet, we just loaded the bike up and put it in the truck," said Ellis. "We're taking it on to Sonoma. We're just gonna park it and leave it there. We've got plenty of parts on the truck to fix it there, so it won't be a big deal. We can take the transmission out in 15 minutes."
"Besides my loss, I was very happy with the weekend," said Smith. "Chip was number 1 and we easily could have been number 3. We'll go to Sonoma and do the best I can do there. We're halfway through the year and got bumped down one spot in the points. There's still plenty of time to do what we need to do as a team. Chip moved to first place in the Full Throttle standings and I'm second.
Smith continued, "It's a roller coaster and you have to go out there and be positive. I'm down because we lost first round, but we're gonna bounce back. We're a good team. I'm just glad to be off the Mountain. When it's a hundred and some degrees everyday, it makes things ten times worse when the air is that thin."
"We were letting the scoreboard do the yackin' in Denver," added Bryce. "The bike was fast, the team was awesome. So we'll just keep digging. I'm looking forward to going to Sonoma and see how fast we can go."
"I know we've got a great bike and the best team right now and I'm lookin to get to Sonoma and try it again," finished Ellis.