VETERAN PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE RACER CHIP ELLIS RUNNING A BUELL FOR OEHLER’S TEAM IN NORWALK
Veteran NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Chip Ellis is back competing again.
Ellis confirmed to CompetitionPlus.com he will be riding a second Buell for Ryan Oehler’s Pro Stock Motorcycle team at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Friday through Sunday in Norwalk, Ohio.
“Brad McCoy, who has been helping him tune the motorcycles, he lives just up the road from me (in Cleveland, N.C.), and I've known Brad for probably 20 years or more,” Ellis said. “He sent me a message. He wanted me to run Bristol (Tenn.) last week because, I guess, Michael Ray's been riding their bike.
“They were just trying to get some data, and I couldn't go to Bristol last week because we were boat racing, so I said, ‘Well, what about Norwalk?’ So, we just put a little deal together and off we go. They've been having some issues with the clutch, and I'm going to try to help them with that stuff. It will be practice and qualifying all at the same time for me at Norwalk.”
Ellis last competed in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class last season running a limited schedule on one Matt Smith’s Buells. Back in 2018, Ellis ran a third Harley-Davidson for Vance & Hines in Indianapolis, St. Louis, Charlotte, Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif. He qualified No. 1 in St. Louis and made it to the finals in Charlotte before losing to Matt Smith.
Being a rent-a-rider doesn’t bother Ellis, who has won seven career NHRA national events in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
“I definitely don't want to get back full time, so it's nice to get up there every once in a while, and pop the clutch,” Ellis said. “I'm getting older now, so to see if I can still do it, kind of prove a little something to myself. Right now, I feel pretty good. I've been exercising a lot, and not just because of this deal with Ryan, but just because I'm getting... I was so out of shape. I went dirt bike riding a couple months ago, and I couldn't even hardly hold onto the motorcycle, so I said – I better start doing something. So, I feel good, and I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a fun deal. I don't know Ryan well, but I know they're a good bunch of guys, and they certainly work hard. I admire that. That's the biggest thing that I like about Matt is that man, that guy is just a hardworking dude. And Ryan's the same way. He's got 10 things going on and trying to keep this motorcycle program going. I admire him for that.”
Ellis believes McCoy is a key ingredient to have in his camp.
“He's really good with the Pro Mod stuff, and he's on the learning curve with the Pro Stock stuff,” Ellis said. “So, each race he's been... We've been texting back and forth and whatnot. I've been trying to help him via text and whatnot, but it's tough to do that. Unfortunately, Brad won't be here this weekend. He's got a Pro Mod race in this weekend in the PDRA this weekend.
“Well, I've been a hands-on type of guy and working with some of the best in the business, so hopefully I can help Ryan. It's always tough to do this, but it seems to have worked out in the past, so we’ll see how it goes.”
When Ellis isn’t competing in the PSM ranks, he lives in Mocksville, N.C., and he runs his Chip Ellis Racing shop there where he builds stainless steel headers for cars and motorcycles. Mocksville is an hour from Charlotte.
Ellis also keeps busy as tuner for his daughter, McKenzie, 20, who is a boat racer.
“We have our schedule pretty full of boat racing this year,” Ellis said. “She won last Saturday in South Carolina. “She runs what they call 1400 EFI. So, it's basically 1400 pounds, fuel-injected Mercury outboard is what we run. She is something else in this boat, man. It's amazing to watch. I don't even know how she does it, but she's certainly got a good feel for it.”
Ellis said his daughter’s next boat race is July 23 in Summerville, S.C. He also mentioned his daughter has done some drag racing on a Suzuki Hayabusa.
“We built that for her, and she's been learning,” Chip said. “She's run through the track, testing it, just making runs so she can learn how to ride it. She's actually done really well on it too. We've only run 1/8-mile stuff, but the engine is stock and everything like that, and she's running well.”