HomeTeam ReportsEllis and Pippin Qualify #1 for NHRA U.S. Nationals

Ellis and Pippin Qualify #1 for NHRA U.S. Nationals

event: 61st annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals
when: September 4-9, 2015
where: Lucas Oil Raceway, Brownsburg, Indiana, USA

Ellis and Pippin Qualify #1 for U.S. Nationals

 

Chip Ellis qualified the Junior Pippin/PiranaZ Buell number one in Pro Stock Motorcycle for Labor Day’s 61st annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis, Indiana—his third number one qualifier of the season and 16th of his career.

After leading qualifying Saturday, Ellis actually padded his advantage over second place Andrew Hines in Sunday morning’s session with a 6.855 when few others improved. And although Ellis didn’t improve his ET in the heat of Sunday’s final afternoon session, he did set high MPH of the event so far with a 196.22. 

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“We hit the chassis pretty hard that pass,” said engine builder/tuner Lon Moyer. “It actually hooked then unloaded the tire. It kinda gave us some wheel speed down low and made for the big speed up at the top and gave us a little more run at the end of the track.

“We learned a lot from that run and can use the data on raceday. It’s an accurate reading of what it’s gonna be like tomorrow.

“And we’re kind of a team that’s still collecting a lot of data. A lot of these guys out here have a lot more laps on their stuff at every racetrack, but we’re definitely in high learning mode every race. We need a lot of laps so we can figure out what to do come Sunday when the track changes—like yesterday. It changed a lot from when we left the trailer to when we finally ended up running.

“So hopefully, on Monday, we’ll make some good decisions when we leave this trailer.”

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Ellis and the team face 16th qualifier Angie Smith in round 1 of eliminations. “We know we have the horsepower and today was a good tune-up,” said Ellis. “These will be the conditions we race in tomorrow, so we know where we should be first round tomorrow.”

The team has extra incentive to bring home a Wally as bike owner Junior Pippin is on the receiving end of massive doses of chemotherapy and radiation to combat recently discovered inoperable, stage 4 cancer.

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Ellis and Pippin Lead Qualifying at Indy

Chip Ellis rode the Junior Pippin/PiranaZ Buell straight to number one in Saturday’s second round (third round overall) of Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying for Labor Day’s 61st annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis, Indiana. If Ellis stays on top through two more scheduled rounds on Sunday, it will be his third number one qualifier of the season and 16th of his career.

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And while Friday’s result may have been somewhat of a fluke, Saturday was the second day that Pippin-powered Buells led PSM qualifying at Indy. Redell Harris rode his own Pippin-powered Buell to the top of the charts on Friday when his bike was the only one to take a timeslip as rain canceled the rest of the session and he was crowned king for the day.

All this took place while Pippin is at home in Conyers, Georgia on the receiving end of massive doses of chemotherapy and radiation to combat recently discovered inoperable, stage 4 nasal cancer.

Leading at the end of the day hardly seemed possible for Ellis after a bad bog slowed the black and pink Buell to an 11th place qualifying result in the early round. The 7.14 at 189 mph pass left the team with precious little to tune with for the evening session. And yet, while the competition improved marginally, Ellis and the bike improved dramatically to a 6.862 at 193.63.

“I was expecting to improve, but not to an .86,” said engine builder/tuner Lon Moyer. “Then I thought that was gonna be a pretty stout run to hold up for the session. But the Harley guys were coming up next and they always run pretty strong, so you never know.”

And Andrew Hine did come close, running 6.879 on his Harley-Davidson. Second round leader Jerry Savoie was third with a 6.896.

 “We have a little more to tune off of now,” said Moyer. “The first run, we had such a poor 60 foot. But we knew we had something to work with, it was just a matter of getting it to work down low. We’ve made good runs with bad 60 foots before, but you don’t want to make a habit of that. You’ve gotta make good runs out here, these are some of the best racers in the world.”

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“We’ve been trying to get the clutch straightened out,” explained Ellis. “We came here and tested last Wednesday and I think we are starting to get a handle on it.” Indeed, as Ellis’ 1.059 was the second best 60 foot time of Saturday’s second round.

Will Ellis stay on top after Sunday’s two rounds? “I have all the faith and confidence in my engine builder and team that we can get this job done,” said Chip, who noted that a winning performance is the best medicine for Pippin when he needs it most.

Junior Pippin and Chip Ellis would like to thank PiranaZ , Junior Pippin Trucking,  Paul Bost Trucking, B&R Automotive, Lisa Pippin, Lon Moyer, Dave Bryant and Brad Moore.

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 contact Junior Pippin: jr.pippin@hotmail.com

This report was prepared by Tim Hailey.

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