Tommy Ellis was a NASCAR short track ace of the 1970s and 1980s from Richmond, VA. Often referred to as "Terrible" Tommy Ellis for his rough tactics, he won the National Late Model Sportsman championship in 1981 and was one of six drivers enrolled in the Winner's Circle plan at the formation of the Busch Series (now Nationwide Series) in 1982.
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.
Ellis' last Busch Series start was in 1995.