Sport Compact Drag Racer Marty Ladwig Sets NHRA National Record

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Smoking the tires on the way to an NHRA record
Smoking the tires on the way to an NHRA record
When reporting on racers it's often unavoidable to make the connection to family racing lineage, that's not the case with San Antonio, Texas drag racer Marty Ladwig. We want to note his roots simply because they're cool. Marty's dad worked as an intelligence analyst for the National Security Agency (NSA). Yeah, that's right, Marty's father works to keep us all protected so we can continue to race on.
Marty putting the personal touch on pre-race preparations
Marty putting the personal touch on pre-race preparations

When Marty was ten he moved with his family from Okinawa, Japan, to the United States. For the next two decades, because of his father's job, the family continued to relocate, going from California to Illinois, then El Paso, Texas, finally settling in San Antonio.

Marty didn't start racing until after graduating from high school, racing his suped-up Firebird and various motorcycles, at tracks like Alamo Dragway, San Antonio Raceway and Temple Academy Raceway. In '01 Marty decided to stay strictly with racing cars, for the time being, and wouldn't change until he won two AMA/Prostar National Championships.

The Intel analyst gene appears to be paying huge dividends for Marty when he hits the dragstrip, rewarding him with success wherever he runs. "We were really happy with last season," says Marty. "We finally decided to try NHRA Comp Eliminator racing and qualified number one at all three events we attended, two National events and a Divisional."
An engine shakedown between passes
An engine shakedown between passes

"It was fun, but we found out there is more to winning in the class than having a fast car. This year we will have radios, so we can communicate about letting off the gas, or staying in it. We are used to running all out in heads up, pro-tree classes, but we'll get it. Also, it was cool to set a NHRA National record in our class in Las Vegas at 7.23 @ 199mph," adds Marty.

Marty also ran at an Import Face-Off event in San Antonio and won the Outlaw Class, setting a personal best record of 203.90mph. "Our car is a front wheel drive, four-cylinder Chevy Cobalt. It has a full-tube chassis and full carbon fiber body," explains Marty. "It is powered by a 2.2 liter Ecotec engine with a single TiAL turbo, running on methanol, and it puts out about 1500 hp. We hold the ET records with the last three major Sport Compact Series (NHRA, NOPI and BOTI) with a 7.16 ET."

"My ultimate racing goal is to compete in a NHRA Top Fuel or Funny Car," says Marty. "Every time I see one go down the track I try to study what's going on and what the driver is doing." We suspect that's the Intel gene at work.

"The next best thing is Pro-Stock Motorcycle. I'm putting one together and hopefully I'll be able to bring it out this season," adds Marty.

"Working with K&N has been great, their support has been the difference in us being able compete at the level we do. More importantly though is that K&N has products that we can rely upon. The HP-3001 oil filter that we use has provided us with 100 percent reliability through four seasons of multiple race wins and records set. It has done an awesome job of enduring 100psi+ of oil pressure and filtering the oil so that we have had zero engine problems in four years of racing."

"No amount of support is worth it unless a product helps you win, and with K&N we have won 11 races, hold four current records, and we were the first front-wheel drive to set a record over 200mph in drag racing," adds Marty confidently.

For the 2010 season Marty's main goal, for now, is to be the first to run a six-second pass with a front-wheel drive. "We are really close and we learned a few things last season, so I am really looking forward to making some passes in this year," concludes Marty.

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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