Joliet: Chip Ellis Saturday summary

Ellis ends qualifying at No. 3 JOLIET, Ill. (June 11, 2005) -- Chip Ellis, aboard the G Squared/S&S-powered Buell, finished qualifying in the No. 3 position on the qualifying ladder for the eighth annual NHRA...

Ellis ends qualifying at No. 3

JOLIET, Ill. (June 11, 2005) -- Chip Ellis, aboard the G Squared/S&S-powered Buell, finished qualifying in the No. 3 position on the qualifying ladder for the eighth annual NHRA CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals.

In the opening qualifying session on Friday, Ellis put his G2/S&S Buell on cruise control and covered the Route 66 Raceway quarter-mile in 7.150 seconds at 185.66 mph. This placed the Americus, Ga., driver in the No. 2 spot, a position he held until the final session.

In the second Friday session, which was delayed by rain, only one of the 16 qualifiers improved their first session times. The humidity apparently played havoc with the Pro Stock Motorcycles tune-ups.

In the heat of Saturday's first sessions, Ellis returned to form reeling off a pass of 7.171 seconds at 182.82 mph.

In Saturday's second session and the final qualifying pass of the event, Ellis started strong but shut down and coasted to the finish line, when Ellis was unable to shift into third gear.

Out of the No. 3 spot, Ellis will square off against the No. 14 qualifier Matt Guidera in tomorrow's first round of eliminations. Guidera made the field on the final pass when he ran a 7.260 second run.

"Our qualifying was up and down," reflected Ellis following qualifying. "I was consistent on the lights and that will help tomorrow. We all miss the leadership of Ken Johnson but I've got a great guy in Rick Maney filling in for him. We're going after them tomorrow, one round at a time. Hopefully, each round will be better than the last."

G Squared Motorsports is without the services of longtime employee Ken Johnson, who seriously injured his left knee in an accident last weekend. In his place, G2 is tuning by committee with team owners George Bryce and George Smith, along with Chip Ellis and Rick Maney, contributing to readying the motorcycle for competition. Smith had accolades for his crew that is working as a solid team while Ken Johnson is on the mend.

"I'm very pleased with the job that the crew is doing," said Smith. "Everybody is pitching in. Our new addition to the G Squared team, Rick Maney, is doing an outstanding job after being pressed into service to replace Ken Johnson. Actually, the whole team is working together to replace Ken but, without Rick, we would have really had a hard time.

"The S&S guys are also working really hard to make improvement in the engine department so that we can keep up with the Harleys and fast Suzukis."

Speaking of Ken, he had another surgery on Friday, his third since the accident, to further cleanse the wound in anticipation of skin graft surgery.

BUELL REVIEW: In addition to Ellis the following S&S-powered Buells made the 16-motorcycle field: Ryan Schnitz (No. 6), Chris Rivas (No. 9) and Matt Guidera (No. 14), who qualified for his first race aboard the Buell.

-gsm-

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Series NHRA
Drivers George Smith , Chris Rivas , Ryan Schnitz , Chip Ellis , Matt Guidera