Ellis uses consistency to qualify No. 3
Chicago, Saturday: Schumacher Electric Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chip Ellis made four runs within four hundredths of a second to qualify No. 3 at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.
Eliis made his best qualifying run Friday evening with a 7.039-second elapsed time at 183.54 mph. His other passes completed a string of consistent runs: 7.045/186.92, 7.082/184.27 and 7.045/186.48. The Florida native qualified in the top half of the field for the fifth time this season and has now qualified at all 55 NHRA races in which he's competed.
After not racing since the St. Louis event a month ago, Ellis was eager to get back on the Schumacher Electric Suzuki this weekend. "We never missed a beat," said Ellis with confidence. "Steve Tartaglia (crew chief) has done a great job with the bike this weekend and we've been very consistent. Once again we're at the top of the ladder. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's eliminations. We just need to keep the ball rolling."
The conditions at Route 66 Raceway were windy throughout qualifying but it seemed to have little effect on the Don Schumacher Racing rider. "The wind only affected me on the second run yesterday," explained Ellis. "We made two good straight runs today and I learned a little from yesterday on what to do and how to handle the wind. The last run we made was just awesome. It was perfectly straight. The guys are doing a great job getting this Suzuki set up to handle those crosswinds.
"Even though it's a crosswind it's still scrubbing off speed because it's making everybody work their bikes to the right. The wind is coming from right to left so everybody has to work their bikes. These motorcycles are real sensitive to rolling free and they can't roll perfectly free with the wind like that.
"The Schumacher Electric Suzuki continues to perform awesome and I'm really pleased with it. The ladder just shows the parity within the class," added Ellis. "With a Buell in the front (Chris Rivas on the pole), a Harley in second (Andrew Hines) and then the Suzuki in third, all within one hundredth of a second, it shows how tight things are in this class. We're going to just keep chipping away and try and be there when it counts."
Ellis faces No. 14 qualifier Craig Treble in first round of eliminations on Sunday.
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