RACING IN THE BIG LEAGUES
ST. ALBERT, AB. – After successfully testing the waters with a single race car last season, the Ellis Motorsports Racing team has come on board full-force in 2011 with three cars. Brad Ellis, owner of CSL Transportation and patriarch of the Ellis family say’s after several years of watching the Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series compete, it was time to jump in with both feet. “This Series is the real deal,” indicates Ellis, “I’ve been involved in the racing scene since the 70’s. There is such a passion for racing in this class it’s unbelievable.” The 2010 season saw Brad’s son win the NPP Late Model Series Rookie of the Year honors.
“Ryan raced an older car last year. He stayed out of trouble all season and did fairly well with it. During the off season we sold the old car and acquired two newer NPP Late Model cars. The goal was to have both Ryan and his brother (Curtis) compete together. Then just before the season started another NPP car fell into our laps which good friend Kary Rogers is going to debut at the Gold Cup race in Edmonton.” As crew chief for the newly expanded team, Ellis knows his plate will be full next weekend. “Running three cars is a bold step, that’s for sure.” Rookie driver Curtis Ellis agrees with his father. “Getting that first race under our belt was huge. We got the car off the trailer, had a top ten finish (6th) and put the car back on the trailer in one piece.” The Sherwood Park, Alberta driver hopes for a top 5 finish at the Gold Cup. “We learned a lot from our first race. Several other teams were giving me and my dad pointers with this new car and that was really appreciated.” Ellis sits sixth in points just a single point back of fifth place. “We want to be consistent in our first season. If we can get the rookie of the year award like my brother did last year that would be great.”
Ryan Ellis, last season’s NPP Rookie of the Year struggled at the June 4th opener in his Need 4 Speed Racing Products #27 Ford. “The gearing was way out in the car,” sighs the Edmonton, Alberta driver, “the car was good in the corners but was brutal on the straights. That mistake can’t be made again.” Ellis, who finished 7th in the NPP Championship points chase last season currently sits 10th heading into the next weekends Gold Cup race event.
“There are going to be a few more cars in the field next weekend so we have to pick it up.” Kary Rogers will one of those drivers bolstering the NPP field next weekend. The Millet, Alberta competitor will also be making his NPP Late Model Series debut. “Looking forward to running this class,” says the driver of the CSL Transportation #19 Chevrolet, “from what I’ve seen from a distance it’s a pretty good bunch of people to race with.”
Rogers spent a single season in the Wissota Late Model class and managed to claim the Castrol Raceway Rookie of the Year honors. “I’ve already missed one race (car not ready) but who knows, maybe I can win back to back rookie of the year awards.” The Ellis Motorsports Racing team invites all race fans to drop by the pits after the races.
Next NPP Series race event:
2011 GOLD CUP
Castrol Raceway – Edmonton, Alberta
> Friday, July 22nd / Racing starts at 7:00PM
> Saturday, July 23rd / Racing starts at 6:00PM