Marty Ladwig's Chevy Cobalt Prevails at Mountain Madness NHRA Sport Compact Nationals Defeats Jason Hunt in All-Chevrolet Final to Claim First Victory as Car Owner/Driver DENVER, Colo., June 11, 2006 - After coming close on a number...
Marty Ladwig's Chevy Cobalt Prevails at Mountain Madness NHRA Sport Compact Nationals
Defeats Jason Hunt in All-Chevrolet Final to Claim First Victory as Car Owner/Driver
DENVER, Colo., June 11, 2006 - After coming close on a number of occasions already during the first half of the season, Chevy Cobalt driver Marty Ladwig completely closed the deal on Sunday and captured his first Pro FWD victory of the year by defeating Jason Hunt in the final round of the Mountain Madness NHRA Sport Compact Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. It was an all Chevy Cobalt final round between two determined drivers with Ladwig coming out on top to record his 13th career win as an NHRA Sport Compact competitor, and his first as a car owner/driver.
"This is awesome," said the former two-time NHRA Sport Compact champion and driver of the Lucas Oil Chevrolet. "I am just happy to get my first win as an owner. There is a lot of pressure off now. I want to thank Lucas Oil for helping me out. It's great to be a part of their family of racers. I couldn't ask for a better sponsor. I also want to thank Garrett Turbo, because their products worked great up here in the altitude, and also the GM-support team for all of their help and guidance. Our ECOtec engine ran extremely fast this weekend in the thin, mile-high plus altitude and our HydraMatic transmission did a great job applying all of that horsepower to the racing surface."
Ladwig entered raceday with his Chevy Cobalt qualified in the No. 3 position after running 8.051 seconds at 183.89 mph during Saturday time trials. He defeated fellow Chevy Cobalt driver and Atco (N.J.) race winner Bryan Jimenez in round one running 8.923 seconds at 138.27 mph, and another Chevy Cobalt driver, Gary Gardella, in round two with a run of 8.017 seconds at 184.88 mph. In the championship heat against Hunt, Ladwig crossed the finish line with a winning 8.166 e.t. at 183.82 mph. For Ladwig, it was his second victory at Bandimere Speedway (his first coming in the HOT ROD category in 2004) and his first at this venue as an NHRA Pro FWD competitor. It moves him into second place in the Pro FWD standings, and closer to points leader Ed Bergenholtz who lost in round one to Gary Gardella.
"Our main goal since the beginning of the season has been nothing less than to win the NHRA XPlod championship," said Ladwig. "I was fortunate to do it twice before as a driver with GM, and now as an owner it presents a completely different challenge. The car ran great all weekend and turned out the consistent numbers it takes to win races in this category. Today's win was another step in that direction and proves that we have what it takes to get that done.
"The Chevy Cobalt continues to be the proven, race-tested package that we always knew it would be. I'm going to savor this win for a little while, but just a little while though, and then it's back to work getting ready for Las Vegas."
Jason Hunt qualified his ECOtec-powered Matco Tools Chevy Cobalt in the No. 1 position with a 7.587 e.t. at 193.52 mph. During his round one win over Ron Townsend, Hunt's Chevy Cobalt set both ends of the Bandimere Raceway track record with a run of 7.544 seconds at 196.27 mph. In the second round of eliminations, Hunt's car suffered engine damage, and with very little time to fix the problem, he brought a slightly wounded car to the starting line for the championship round against Ladwig.
"We've had this Chevy Cobalt running on rails for about the last eight weeks," said Hunt. "Until the semifinal round today, this car had performed flawlessly, and even at this altitude we felt there was still a lot left in it. In the finals, our goal was to try and stage the car to see if we could force Marty into a mistake, but he's too good of a driver and been around too long for that. Marty did an outstanding job and the entire CSI Racing team would like to congratulate him on a great win."
Other top Team Chevy performers at Bandimere Speedway included Erica Nocita who earned her first career No. 1 qualifying pole position on Saturday in the Quick 16 category. Nocita, driving a borrowed Chevy Cobalt from NOPI Turbo Street competitor Brian Ballard, blistered the Bandimere Speedway quarter-mile in round one of eliminations and posted her career- best e.t. as an NHRA Sport Compact competitor at 10.144 seconds. In a round-two loss to John Peters, Nocita posted her career-best speed at 146.37 mph.
"I want to thank the entire CSI Racing team for letting us use Brian's racecar this weekend," said Nocita. "Driving Brian's Chevy Cobalt allowed me to do some things as a driver I'd never done before. It was a great learning experience and now all I want to do is make our own Chevy Cobalt Phase5 go even faster."