Gainesville: Chip Ellis Saturday summary

Ellis in top half of field for first race of the season GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 19, 2005) -- Qualifying for the 36th annual NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals, the opening event on the Pro Stock Motorcycle 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series ...

Ellis in top half of field for first race of the season

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 19, 2005) -- Qualifying for the 36th annual NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals, the opening event on the Pro Stock Motorcycle 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule, is complete. Chip Ellis, Pro Stock Motorcycle rider on the G Squared/S&S Buell, finished qualifying in the 8th position with a run at 7.056 seconds at 182.52 mph in the quickest field ever of Pro Stock Motorcycle racing.

In the second qualifying session, Ellis made his qualifying pass and became the first rider to break into the low seven-second range at the event. The Americus, Ga., rider and team struggled in the first qualifying round on Saturday when a transmission broke, but was pleased with the information the team was gaining for eliminations on Sunday.

"Our crew has worked hard to get a new transmission in before the final round of qualifying," said Ellis after qualifying round No. 3. "We've got one more chance to improve our qualifying position and a great opportunity to gather more information before eliminations get started tomorrow."

George Smith, co-owner of the G Squared Motorsports S&S Buell, added, "At the AHDRA event here a few weekends ago, we couldn't do a thing wrong. This weekend, it's a slightly different story. The air is extremely good and we still need time and experience on these motors to figure out the tune-up and uncover any other bugs that may be lurking. Another round will help us to try and set it straight and improve our position."

"I'm pleased with the performance of our running mates Ryan Schnitz and Chris Rivas. The Mohegan Sun Bike is a real good unit and we're confident we'll get the thing running straight. We'll be back at Houston with them and ready to rock and roll."

The changes made prior to the final qualifying session eliminated the bugs that had preyed upon the team previously when Ellis rebounded with a pass of 7.086 seconds at 187.77 mph.

Smith added, "We now have data we can use tomorrow and we know our motorcycle is capable of running quicker times. We are putting in our most reliable engine for tomorrow and are ready for competition."

Ellis will face Steve Johnson in the first round of competition on Sunday. Johnson qualified in the 9th position with a pass of 7.077 seconds at 188.20 mph. He begins his quest for the Pro Stock Motorcycle title tomorrow, at 11 a.m. Time is local Gainesville time (ET) and subject to change at anytime.

Qualifying highlights for the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals can be seen on ESPN2 on early Sunday morning (Mar. 20)) from 12:30 a.m.-2:30 a.m. ESPN2 will also air same-day television coverage of eliminations from 5 until 7 p.m. on Sunday afternoon (Mar.20). Television times are Eastern Time (ET) and subject to change at anytime. Check local listings.

-sq-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers George Smith , Chris Rivas , Steve Johnson , Chip Ellis