Volume III, Issue 6, Page 21

7-teens at over 202 with slicks on the front wheels

He's been a familiar figure and a key component of GM Racing's successful sport-compact drag racing program from its very beginning, a run that has included two NHRA HOT ROD championships in 2003-04, and the first Pro FWD competitor to break the 200 mph barrier in 2005. But Team Chevy's Ladwig honed his skills as a quarter-mile warrior long ago as a bracket racer growing up and around the tracks near his home in San Antonio, Texas. He was a member of one of Dave Schultz' NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championship teams and also a two-time AMA Pro Star 600 SuperSport national champion (1999-00).

: Talk some about the early days, Marty.

ML: I did a lot of bracket racing in both cars and motorcycles and in doing that I learned a lot about what it takes to be competitive. A lot of people only know me as someone who competed in Sport Compact, but I drag-raced motorcycles, too. I’ve been drag racing since I was 17, so I've been doing this for awhile. I competed in AMA Pro Star and raced with Dave Schultz for a year as a part of his crew. I learned a lot about strategy from Dave and how to approach each race – more of the mental side of it. I definitely give him a lot of credit for what I've learned. Dave taught me a lot about preparation and being ready, and he was a big part of my learning curve.

: You’re a team owner now and one of the biggest winners in Sport Compact drag racing. How does that compare to being a dedicated driver?

ML: I'm really proud of what I've done by being able to make the transition to team owner. Until you do it, you don't realize everything that goes into [being] a team owner. I'm pretty much busy all day long trying to make sure, not only having the racecars prepared, but getting all the flights for the team, paying the bills, booking the hotels, making sure we have all the parts, that our CO² tanks are full, and that we have plenty of fuel to get from one race to the next. There's something all day, everyday that needs to get done just so you can go to the next race. You have to stay on top of everything and stay in budget. With all that going on I'm writing up proposals, sending out race reports, catching up on emails to make sure we have the right parts and Lucas Oil products, plus driving the truck myself. It's a lot of work but I'm living the life I've dreamed about. I get to race for a living. It beats going to a 9-to-5 job.

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