Ellis' 1984 car at Pocono Raceway
August 8, 1947 |
1981 National Late Model champion1988 Busch Series champion
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career|
|78 races run over 12 years|
|Best finish||8th - 1986|
|First race||1976 Delaware 500 (Dover)|
|Last race||1991 Budweiser 500 (Dover)|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series career|
|235 races run over 14 years|
|Best finish||1st - 1988|
|First race||1982 Goody's 300 (Daytona)|
|Last race||1995 Detroit Gasket 200 (Michigan)|
|First win||1982 Gene Lovelace 200 (Langley Field)|
|Last win||1990 Budweiser 300 (Loudon)|
|Statistics current as of March 4, 2012.|
Tommy Ellis was a NASCAR Short track ace of the 1970s and 1980s. Often referred to as "Terrible" Tommy Ellis for his rough tactics, he won the last National Late Model Sportsman championship in 1981, the last year before the format changed from "points chasing" Late Model Sportsman racing at various short tracks to across the country (now known as the Whelen All-American Series) to the current touring format, currently known as the Xfinity Series, the next year. He won the successor series in 1988.
His success (12 poles and 8 wins) in the first two seasons of the Busch Series earned him a shot at a Winston Cup ride. Driving for most of three seasons in the Chevrolet camp, his best finish was an 8th at Dover in 1986. He was also considered an ace sub-driver in Cup, filling in for Neil Bonnett in 1989 and replacing a suspended Geoff Bodine at Junior Johnson Motorsports two years later.
After his release from Freedlander Racing in 1986, Ellis returned to the Busch Series with J&J Racing. Between 1988 and 1990 Ellis won an additional 9 poles and 7 races. He was the Busch Series champion in 1988 in an unsponsored Buick. In 1991, he competed in The Winston in Charlotte Motor Speedway, replacing Geoff Bodine.
Ellis' last Busch Series start was in 1995.
Busch Series statistics
|Year||Races||Wins||Top 5||Top 10||Poles||Rank|
In 2010, Ellis and his wife Brenda were sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to federal tax-evasion charges. The Ellis' had underreported the income generated by their car-wash business by over $300,000 between 2003 and 2007.
- Hallman, Randy. "Former NASCAR driver Tommy Ellis pleads guilty to tax-evasion charge". AutoWeek. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
|NASCAR Busch Series Champion