Popular rider Chip Ellis will return to the Pro Stock Motorcycle class at next weekend’s Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil for a one-race stint aboard a Vance & Hines-powered Suzuki. Ellis has been working in the Brownsburg, Ind., headquarters of Vance & Hines Motorsports since leaving Don Schumacher Racing at the end of the 2008 season.
“This whole deal came together in less than a week,” said Ellis. “Last Wednesday, Matt and Byron [Hines] told me they wanted to test some engine stuff we’ve been working on, so we put together a plan to bring a bike out for Indy. We borrowed a chassis from Harry Lartigue and spent the weekend assembling the bike. It’s all happened pretty quickly.”
Ellis made six runs during Tuesday’s test session at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis and turned in a best of 7.01, the quickest run by any of the three Pro Stock Motorcycle entries in attendance. He also clocked a 1.04-second 60-foot time, the best ever recorded by a Vance & Hines entry.
“I was a little rusty on the first pass, but after that, I felt fine,” Ellis said. “The 1.04 60-foot time was really impressive because we didn’t spend too much time fine-tuning the clutch. I really missed riding a bike, but I’ve also had some time to do other things this year, and that has been nice as well. For now, this is a one-race deal, but I guess you never know what it might lead to. I’m definitely ready to come back.”