Ellis grabs provisional No. 1 qualifying spot
Madison, Friday: Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chip Ellis rode the Schumacher Electric Suzuki to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position on Friday at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.
Ellis started the weekend with an elapsed time of 7.048-seconds at 185.66 mph to finish the windy first session in the No. 7 position. He returned for his second qualifying attempt and roared to a 6.957/190.22, improving by almost a tenth of a second to move into the No. 1 qualifying spot after two out of four qualifying rounds.
"What a great day for Don Schumacher Racing," said a pleased Ellis following the second qualifying session. "As tough as the competition is anymore it doesn't matter if you're No. 1 or 16; you can still win. I am just really pleased with that run. On the first run we knew we left a lot in it. The track looked a lot better than we thought it was. For the second round we got it tuned up and it's running great.
"The bike is working good and I'm getting the hang of riding the Suzuki after coming off riding a Buell last year. The Suzuki has been a little bit of a challenge because it's not as forgiving as the Buell. I want to thank Valvoline, Matco Tools and especially Don Schumacher and (crew chief) Steve Tartaglia. The team is doing a great job and they're really jelling together."
Ellis will have two more rounds of qualifying on Saturday. If he holds onto the No. 1 spot it will be the 13th time in his career and the first time this season. Ellis’ last Pro Stock Motorcycle national-event win was here at Gateway in 2006.
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