Ellis was an expert on short oval tracks. On these he had almost always a chance of winning the race. In 1981, he won the championship in the Late Model Sportsman Division, the predecessor of today's Nationwide Series series. Also in 1982, founded successor series, which was first called Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series, and was renamed the Busch Series in 1984, Ellis was one of the riders who were riding regularly for wins. In the first two years he won eight races. In 1982 he was third in 1983 and fourth in the overall standings.
The good performance in the Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series Ellis took the offer, in the 1984 season for Morgan - McClure Motorsports in the Winston Cup, now Sprint Cup to drive. There he drove the Chevrolet with the number 4 He finished the season ranked 31 overall. From 1985, he started for the team of Eric Freedlander. At the end of the 1986 season, his contract was canceled due to lack of success and his career as a full-time driver in Winston Cup was ended after only three years. 1989 and 1991, he returned for a few races in the Cup to represent other drivers who could not compete due to injuries and suspensions. Throughout his career he played 78 Cup races, of which he finished in the top 10 six.
After his termination of the contract as a full- time driver in Winston Cup Ellis drove off the 1987 season again increased in the Busch Grand National Series. In the 1988 season he won the championship in this Buick with the start number 99 from J & J Racing. In 1990, he drove his last race for this team. After that, he was active only as a part-time driver in the Busch Grand National Series. On August 19, 1995, he competed in his last race in the Busch Series at Michigan International Speedway. He finished it on the 34th. In his Busch Grand National Series career Ellis played a total of 235 races. 22 times he won 70 times he came in the Top 5 and 108 times in the top -10 finish.