Ellis exits in opening round for first time this season
Chicago, Sunday: Schumacher Electric Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chip Ellis, who has three semifinals and one final round under his belt in 2008, lost in the opening round of eliminations for the first time this season at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.
Ellis qualified No. 3 for the event, posting an elapsed time of 7.039 seconds at 183.54 mph during the second qualifying session, and was paired up against No. 14 qualifier Craig Treble in the first round.
At the flash of green, Ellis was uncharacteristically late off the starting line with a .185 reaction time (.000 is perfect) to Treble's .002 light. The Schumacher Electric Suzuki made the quickest run of the weekend for the class (up to that point), with an outstanding 7.001/187.68 lap, but it wasn't enough to catch Treble, who took the victory with a 7.094/187.78 on a holeshot advantage.
Ellis made no excuses for his sub-par reaction time. "I just made a mistake," he said as he and the team loaded up the Suzuki before it began to rain. "I was just late off the starting line and that's the bottom line. I wasn't distracted or anything. I didn't go through my normal process and I just made a mistake. The Schumacher Electric Suzuki ran great and the crew is doing a great job. I just messed up today.
"The good thing is that there are a lot of races left and we'll be all right. Running low elapsed time of the race kind of added insult to injury," added Ellis who holds onto No. 3 in the point standings. "I feel bad for the team because these guys work so hard on the bike. It's a tough loss, but you're going to have those now and then and you just have to keep on marching forward. Our Suzuki is running great and we'll come back and get them at the next race."
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