Marty Ladwig forms own team

NEW TEAM OWNER LADWIG OPTIMISTIC TO KICK-OFF 2006 NHRA SEASON AS OWNER/DRIVER OF MARTY LADWIG RACING SAN ANTONIO (January 9, 2005) -- After amassing some of the more impressive statistics in the short history of NHRA sport compact drag racing...

NEW TEAM OWNER LADWIG OPTIMISTIC TO KICK-OFF 2006 NHRA SEASON AS OWNER/DRIVER OF MARTY LADWIG RACING

SAN ANTONIO (January 9, 2005) -- After amassing some of the more impressive statistics in the short history of NHRA sport compact drag racing as a member of GM Racing's sport compact contingent, two-time NHRA Hot Rod-category champion Marty Ladwig will embark on a new venture in 2006 as the Texas-based driver will be an owner/driver, it was announced today.

Marty Ladwig Racing will campaign a Roush Industries-built 2006 Chevy Cobalt in the Pro FWD division of the NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series. GM Racing will provide Ladwig with three Ecotec engines for the season as the native of Okinawa, Japan, will now be responsible for both the driving and tuning duties on the record-setting Cobalt. He competed as a hired GM Racing driver the past four seasons during which he captured 12 NHRA event wins and two series championships (2003-04).

"Last year was a transition year where we went from running for the NHRA title to racing in five events in both series (NHRA and NOPI)," Ladwig said. "The 2005 season was a year for us to set records and do more research and development on the car and motor. This is just another phase in going from a full factory-backed race team to where GM will now act in a support role to a few sport compact racers."

Last season, Ladwig raced to three victories en route to a second-place points finish in the Pro FWD division. He became the first and only FWD racer to record a speed of more than 200 mph when he blasted his white Chevy to a speed of 202.02 mph at Atco (N.J.) Raceway. Ladwig also made the quickest FWD pass in NHRA sport compact history (7.12 seconds) at the season finale at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway. He holds the category elapsed time mark at 7.37 seconds.

"I'm looking forward to this season," Ladwig said. "This has always been the plan with GM. It was great to be a part of a factory race team as a driver, but I'm excited about being able to work on the car and run my own race team. I know this will be quite a challenge, but it's a great opportunity that GM has given me.

"Our goal is to win races and compete for the NHRA Pro FWD championship in 2006. I have a race car that will be fast enough to do the job with a proven Ecotec drivetrain and setup."

The 2006 NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series season opener will be held April 1-2 at Moroso Motorsports Park in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where Ladwig aims to begin his quest for a third career NHRA championship.

-mlr-

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