Las Vegas II: Ellis, Treble off-weeks news

DSR MOTORCYCLE DUO ELLIS AND TREBLE: 'WHAT WE DID ON OUR FALL VACATION' BROWNSBURG, Ind. -- (Oct. 24, 2008) -- After the Sept. 28 NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, Tenn., the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Motorcycle class enjoyed...


BROWNSBURG, Ind. -- (Oct. 24, 2008) -- After the Sept. 28 NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, Tenn., the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Motorcycle class enjoyed four weekends off before resuming the Countdown to 1 championship chase at the upcoming final two races in Las Vegas Nov. 2 and Pomona (Calif.) Nov. 16.

The two-bike Schumacher Electric Suzuki team of riders Chip Ellis and Craig Treble, led by veteran crew chief Steve Tartaglia, is considered by many to be the best in the business. With XXX Racing Fuels and Albrecht's Fast Track Motorcycles providing additional support, the team has the resources and the personnel it needs to reach the top. After 14 of the 17 scheduled events this season, the month-long break was welcome, but the riders are ready to get back to competition.

While Treble, No. 8 in the standings, and Ellis, No. 7, share a similar racing background and are serious competitors in the class, the two spent their time off in different ways.

With the pressure of the points race bearing down, one has to wonder how Treble, who is divorced, finds relief from the race-related stress. Look no farther than another race track. "I've been bracket racing my guts off on my personal Suzuki Hyabusa," he explained. "The week after Memphis I went down to the divisional race in Shreveport, La., and won there and then I went to Mobile, Ala., and reached the semifinal. I plan on racing the same bike at the divisional race in Las Vegas between the last two NHRA national events. This upcoming weekend is the first one I'll have off since I can remember.

"But, I love to race, so this is all working out great for me. I get butterflies whether I'm racing a $10 bracket race or a national event; it's all the same when it comes down to competition. I'm always ready. The more I can get of it the better. Staying busy is the best way I know to keep the pressure from getting to you."

Treble's DSR teammate Ellis approaches the challenges of the Countdown in his own way. While every bit the avid competitor as Treble, Ellis, who lives with wife Kathy and daughter McKenzie in Brownsburg, Ind., tends to spend his off-time with a little more relaxation in mind.

"I went to the AMA drag bike race in Ohio during my time off and spent a lot of time dirt-bike riding and being with my family and going places and spending quality time together," he said.

"I've tried not to think about the Countdown too much. I know what this team needs to do and it's just a matter of getting there and performing the best we can," Ellis added. "Honestly, I haven't thought about it too much. I just stay busy working at the DSR shop every day and when I haven't been there I just stay focused on whatever I'm doing at the time.

"And any time you can spend with your family is a good move to me."

Ellis spent much of the 2008 season near the top in the standings, entering the Countdown to 1 playoffs from No. 3. The Florida native, who joined DSR this year, earned a runner-up finish in Atlanta before reaching the winner's circle in Englishtown, N.J. He's qualified in the top half of the 16-bike field at all 15 PSM races so far and has never failed to qualify for an NHRA race since his national-event debut at the 2004 fall race in Las Vegas. Since that time he has amassed an 87-59 round win/loss record and has won six national events. He also recorded the second quickest elapsed time in Pro Stock Motorcycle history with a stunning 6.892-second elapsed time in 2007 and has arguably one of the quickest bikes in the class.

"It's great to a part of the Countdown again," said Ellis, who went down to the final run of last season to decide the crown, eventually finishing third. "It's a pretty good accomplishment. Unfortunately, we didn't enter this year's Countdown as high as we'd have liked to. But, there are still two opportunities to gain some pretty good ground on the points leaders and finish a lot higher than we are now (No. 7)."

Treble joined DSR just prior to the 2008 NHRA U.S. Nationals and entered the beginning of the NHRA Countdown to 1 in Concord, N.C., ninth in the rankings. Under the guidance of tuner Tartaglia, Treble drove the Schumacher Electric/Albrecht's Fast Track Suzuki into the Memphis winner's circle and moved up to No. 8 in the points.

"I would like to see both of us make the top five in the standings," said Treble. "We're both capable of doing it and we have the bikes to do it. I think that's a realistic goal and I'd love to see us do it for Don Schumacher, Albrecht's, XXX Racing Fuels and all of sponsors."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Craig Treble , Chip Ellis , Steve Tartaglia