Ellis goes to semifinals for fifth time this season
Brainerd, Sunday: Schumacher Electric Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chip Ellis reached the semifinals for the fifth time in 10 races today at the 27th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. He lost for the first time in three meetings this season against Angelle Sampey in that round after he was disqualified for a red-light start. Ellis solidified his hold on No. 3 in the point standings with the effort, which included setting top speed of the race of 191.10 mph, posted during qualifying.
Ellis began his march to the semifinals by defeating Karen Stoffer in round one with an elapsed time of 6.994 seconds at 189.95 mph, then defeated Wesley Wells in the quarterfinals with a 7.028/188.25. He left the starting line 46-hundredths of a second too soon against Sampey in the semis, disqualifying his quicker 6.993/189.68 run. Sampey took the win with a 7.005/186.82.
"This weekend I wasn't cutting good lights at all," said Ellis, who is only 99 markers out of first place in points. "I was reasonably consistent until the second round, but on that last run I just basically guessed at the tree. I've just got to get it figured out because I've got a bad-ass motorcycle. It's frustrating because I have a bike that's capable of winning.
“This is such a competitive class that you see a lot of red lights on eliminations day. Every inch and every thousandth of a second counts for so much that many times we take risks at the starting lights. Sometimes it works for you, sometimes it doesn’t. There were five red lights today!”
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