Rockingham: Spring Nationals news 2009-04-22

Ballistic Eagle Jet Bike Driver Kevin Martin to Attempt World Record at Spring Nationals Drag racing is all about speed and trying to be the fastest. Kevin Martin hopes to take that statement to the next level by trying to be the fastest of...

Ballistic Eagle Jet Bike Driver Kevin Martin to Attempt World Record at Spring Nationals

Drag racing is all about speed and trying to be the fastest.

Kevin Martin hopes to take that statement to the next level by trying to be the fastest of all time.

Riding what many consider the most extreme bike on the planet, Martin will try to set a new world record by being the first jet bike driver to surpass the 200 mile per hour barrier atop the world famous Ballistic Eagle Jet Motorcycle at the 38th annual Spring Nationals April 24-26 at Rockingham Dragway.

"I built this bike for one reason -- to get into the record books. My team has been working for years trying to get that elusive 200 mph run," Martin said. "With a little skill and a lot of luck we hope to break the 200 mph barrier at The Rock."

Riding nothing more than a rocket with wheels, Martin already holds two IHRA records for speed and E.T. set three years ago at Rockingham Dragway and he nearly reached the 200 mph plateau earlier this year at a Thunder Jam event at Alabama International Dragway with a pass of 7.789 at 197.45 mph -- quite a feat onboard a motorcycle.

"I have raced for years on several professional dragbikes, but the Ballistic Eagle gives a totally different ride than anything I have ever experienced," Martin admitted. "Turbines are nothing more than a big air compressor. The more air it sucks in the more power it makes. Unlike other bikes, the jet is really lazy off the line, but as I build speed the engine gets more air thus more power. The bike keeps accelerating harder and harder all the way until the end of the track.

"At the end of the run the G-force is so extreme it takes all of my strength and a bunch of Velcro just to keep from flying off."

Martin and the Ballistic Eagle have always been a fan favorite at race tracks across the country as the man and machine combo truly put on a show unlike any other. From the 10 foot flames shooting out the back end of the bike to the ear shattering takeoff and incredible speeds, Martin truly know how to please a crowd.

"In the end the payoff is the response from the fans. Out there on the line it becomes very overwhelming when everyone is on their feet screaming and cheering me on," Martin said. "I tend to feed off the energy in the crowd -- the more they scream the wilder the show. The fans are truly the biggest factor when it comes to any performance.

"Without the support of the fans we have nothing. The biggest reward is knowing that we were able to bring something to the show knowing that, when it is all over, the fans will leave shaking their heads in disbelief."

And Martin will need as much crowd support as he can get if he hopes to squeeze that little extra out of the Ballistic Eagle and push it past the 200 mph barrier at the legendary Rockingham Dragway.

"If we can manage to hold on long enough to see those magic numbers on the board, I will have fulfilled a life long dream -- and also get my crew off my back," Martin said.

Martin will join an already jam-packed lineup of racing and entertainment at IHRA's oldest and most prestigious event the Spring Nationals. Along with Martin's record attempt, Rockingham Dragway will also host three professional classes of racing including Top Fuel, Pro Modified and Pro Stock combined with hundreds of sportsman racers capped off by the annual Summit Allstars race Saturday night.

The weekend long festivities will also feature a world drag racing first as the fire-breathing monster known the world over as the Super Shockwave jet truck takes on the most recognizable icon in motorsports -- Grave Digger.

Tickets for the 38th annual Spring Nationals can be purchased by visiting www.rockinghamdragway.com or www.nitrojam.com

-credit: ihra

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