St. Louis: Chip Ellis preview

Ellis Gains Ground in Atlanta, Looks for More in St. Louis After two first round Pro Stock Motorcycle losses, Chip Ellis and the DRAG Specialties/S&S powered G2 Buell finally advanced on raceday for the first time in 2007. Ellis and the Buell...

Ellis Gains Ground in Atlanta, Looks for More in St. Louis

After two first round Pro Stock Motorcycle losses, Chip Ellis and the DRAG Specialties/S&S powered G2 Buell finally advanced on raceday for the first time in 2007. Ellis and the Buell went all the way to the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals semis at Atlanta Dragway, and it couldn't have come at a better time and place for the Americus, Georgia based team. Included in the Atlanta crowd was a large contingent of G2 Motorsports employees and DRAG Specialties dealers and representatives. "I had a good time and got to go some rounds," said Ellis. "We gained some points and moved up to eighth, and if we can go a couple more rounds in St. Louis, we can be in the top 5."

"We broke a crankshaft," Ellis said about his fourth qualifying round pass, which ended at mid-track. "We had over 40 runs on it and broke the chain a couple of times, so I guess we were getting to the limit of what we can run on one. We're also turning them a lot faster than we used to."

The semifinal was a spectacular race between Ellis and Matt Smith, his teammate from last year. "Our times to the eighth, 1000 foot, and the quarter were all exactly the same," said Ellis. "I was quicker by a 1000th at the 60 foot and 4/1000ths at the 330, but he bottom line is I got beat 'cause I didn't have a good enough light."

"Matthew did good," G2 director of race operations George Bryce said about Smith. "He had an .02 light and then another .02, so it's pretty hard to beat that when you have an .05 and you both run 7.07. Matthew did a good job with that, and so did our S&S powerplants. It was fast on both bikes and we'll keep digging."

"I'm proud of Matt," said George Smith, the G2 president and crew chief. "He's doing great. It's a testament to G2's commitment to supplying our customers with the best possible equipment."

Indeed, fully half of the field in Atlanta were S&S powered Buells, as all eight of the G2 distributed machines made the tough, competitive field. "We're very proud of that, and we hope we can do that again in St. Louis," said Jackie Bryce, G2's vice president of operations.

"The G2 team and S&S folks are very pleased," said George Smith. "It's a testament to the package exclusively distributed by G2. We're really happy for Hector Arana, Peggy Llewellyn, Marco Andreano, Tom Bradford, Chris Rivas, and Matt Guidera. We feel we've helped the Pro Stock Motorcycle class's popularity by developing a turnkey package that you can qualify with and have fun with. We feel like the class is better now than ever, and we're proud to be a part of it.

"And our team's really gelling. Our chief mechanic Ken Johnson has forgotten more about drag racing than most people know, but it still takes a while for people to work well together and we're really getting there. And we're encouraged by our efforts to ensure that Chip can be aggressive on the tree but not go red."

"I had all green lights, though they weren't that spectacular," said Ellis. "We hope to have that fixed."

"We've been working on trying to slow him down with his lights, and we might have done a little too good of a job," said George Bryce.

"Our efforts to get green lights worked very well, but we needed a little more adjustability," said George Smith. "We're working on a system to slow down the bike's reaction time. Obviously, we went a little too far, but we expect continued improvement in St. Louis."

Ellis won the St. Louis event last year, which was payback for having his 600 Supersport class bike stolen there during an AMA/Prostar race a few years ago. "We'll go there with the same attitude we had this past weekend," said Chip. "I'll try to cut some good lights and we'll let whatever happens happen. We worked a real lot in Atlanta, if 'a real lot' is really a word. We tried all three engines we had in the truck, and we also had all of the G2/Star Racing people there and about 40 or 50 people there for DRAG Specialties."

"DRAG Specialties is having another dealer hospitality event in St. Louis," said Jackie Bryce, who's been taping spots with Brian Woods for the online network 1320 TV. "DRAG Specialties is really enjoying doing this, and it's really good getting to meet their dealers and reps. Our associate sponsor Doc's Harley-Davidson of St. Louis is having an event at their dealership Thursday night from 6 to 8 pm. It's their home race, and Chip will make a personal appearance along with John and Ashley Force. The Doc's people will be coming out to the race as well, so it should be a really fun weekend."

"We're upbeat," concluded George Smith. "We made a big move and we're now in the top 8, which is where everybody in the class wants to be for the cut-off at Indy. But we're on the bump spot and we want to move up further."

-credit: G2 Motorsports Sponsors

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Series NHRA
Drivers Peggy Llewellyn , George Bryce , George Smith , Chris Rivas , Matthew Smith , Chip Ellis , Matt Guidera , Tom Bradford , Marco Andreano