Ellis sets Blistering Pace in Testing Chip Ellis takes his Drag Specialties/S&S powered Buell into this weekend's Gatornationals with deserved confidence. The Gainesville Raceway event is the opening round of the NHRA Pro Stock...
Ellis sets Blistering Pace in Testing
Chip Ellis takes his Drag Specialties/S&S powered Buell into this weekend's Gatornationals with deserved confidence. The Gainesville Raceway event is the opening round of the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle season, and Ellis already has a win under his belt on the Gainesville track this year. Chip won Pro Gas at the AHDRA race there just two weeks ago, shattering the track records with a 6.92 at 194 mph. Then just last weekend, Ellis beat Andrew Hines 6.97 to a 6.98 in the Chicago-style shootout final at the Eastern Spring Test Nationals testing event at South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta.
"The way we ran at Valdosta and at the AHDRA race in Gainesville, I really have a lot of confidence going into the Gators," said Ellis. "The bike's been running real good and George Smith and Ken Johnson have been doing a great job working on the bike, as has Derrell Mullis."
"The past week or so of testing is the best, most consistent riding I've seen Chip do," said George Smith, G2 Motorsports president and crew chief for the DRAG Specialties Buell. "Chip has vowed to put it all together this year and so far he's really doing it. Ken's gonna be a dad in July, and maybe that's given him new resolve. He's as solid as ever. I really have all-stars to work with in Chip and Ken, the Full Throttle Pit Crew Champion. And Derrell Mullis from G2 has really worked hard these last few weeks, too."
"With Derrell there, we were able to test a lot of new things we wanted to try, and we were able to put it all together and it tested really well," said George Bryce, G2 director of racing operations. "We broke the Valdosta track record with a 6.93 and that was really rewarding. We won the final eliminations and got a really beautiful trophy."
Bryce will be working with G2 customers Peggy Llewellyn and the Karl Klement Racing team this season, while Smith takes charge in the Ellis pits. "The new line-up with George Bryce handling KK Racing, me handling G2, and Jackie Bryce handling customers is working out great," said Smith. "The past week, including staying here in Americus, Georgia, has really forged a good relationship amongst us all. I'm very enthusiastic about this alignment and I think we're gonna have great results. I'm personally having a lot of fun, and we're committed to having fun all year long and doing a great job for our sponsors. The sponsors have been very supportive, and the S&S and G2 guys are cooperating great. Brian Perkins, who designed the S&S fuel injection, and Todd Olson, who is actually the main designer on the S&S Pro Stock engine, came to the AHDRA race. They had a lot of input into what we were doing and it really paid off.
"The gist is that we felt that the Drag Specialties/S&S Buell's performance was at its zenith last year in Sonoma before we hurt that motor. Working with the S&S guys, we came up with some ideas to try and get that back. We improved the flow a bit and the fit of the connecting rods and the crank. That hard work paid off when we went to the AHDRA race. We turned a 6.920 there on number .014, one of last year's motors, which was very satisfying. We followed up on Monday with some good times.
"We went back to Americus, took out .014 and put .029 in the bike. That motor has the current production crank, which has a little different crank fit. We went back to Valdosta and ran 6.94, .99, .97, and then on the tenth run had a .96. So through those ten runs on .029, the last run was as strong as the first run. That old bugaboo of having our performance deteriorate was gone."
Indeed. G2, S&S Cycle, and Kosman Chassis seemed to have perfected their breed. Customers are taking delivery and running 7.0's nearly right off the trailer. "We've really perfected delivering a 7.0 bike," agreed Smith. "Hector Arana ran a 7.00 on his new Buell, and Peggy Llewellyn went 7.02 and would have had a 6 second run on her new Buell if the bike had gone straight."
The Drag Specialties team stayed in Valdosta after the ESTN event for another day of testing. "We changed the motor to see if we could hit the tune-up correctly," reported Smith. "We put .014 back in on Sunday and what we thought was the right clutch tune-up and predicted what we thought the fuel curve would be and went a 6.935 the first pass." That proved the G2/Drag Specialties/S&S team is definitely on their game. Eight of twenty passes with two different motors in racing conditions or raceday simulations were 6s, with nothing slower than 7.08.
"The team is very excited and we're looking forward to putting on a good show at Gainesville," said Smith.
"We're just gonna try and take it easy, have a little fun, go one round at a time, and maybe we can go four rounds on Sunday," finished Ellis. "That would be a good start to the season."