FORT WORTH, TX, Saturday, October 6, 2001 - Buzz Calkins, of Denver, raced to ninth in the season-long Indy Racing League (IRL) point standings here at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) today with a 10th-place finish in the race. The 1996 IRL ...
FORT WORTH, TX, Saturday, October 6, 2001 - Buzz Calkins, of Denver, raced to ninth in the season-long Indy Racing League (IRL) point standings here at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) today with a 10th-place finish in the race. The 1996 IRL co-championship team finished all but two events during the 2001 season, including an engine failure in today's Chevy 500. The Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat Dallara ran as high as second today and was moving towards the front when the oil pressure dropped in the engine resulting in the failure.
"I had a warning about three laps before the engine went (due to a drop in oil pressure) that we might have a problem," recounted Calkins. "That was such a disappointment. We almost made the entire season without a mechanical ailment. The guys did a terrific job all year putting the car together and with the pit stops. We had a good car at the start but it fell off after the second stop. The guys got the Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat Dallara running strong again after the third stop but then the oil pressure fell off and that was the day."
David Cripps, Bradley Motorsports team manager and chief engineer speculated that the drop in oil pressure was the result of a parts failure in the top-end of the engine. "I think it was certainly in the top of the motor, a valve or piston perhaps. It seems to have broken something that kept it from pumping oil properly and it let go in the end."
The point position is Bradley Motorsports' best since 1997 when the Brad Calkins-owned effort finished tenth. Calkins ran a season high of third at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier in the season and had remarkable reliability throughout the season. The team's two DNF's included today's engine and pit lane contact with another car at St. Louis.
"The way this season has gone I'll take that top-ten in points," said Calkins as he signed autographs at the Bradley team's transporter following the race. "This was only our second DNF of the year and our first mechanical . We are pretty proud of that. The guys on the team had no mechanical failures; the engines aren't their responsibility. I just wish we had had a more competitive year for them with some better finishes. We have some stuff we know that we need to work on during the off-season with the Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat team. We have enough time now to address our deficiencies and go from there."
Calkins will be honored for the top-ten point position tomorrow in the sixth-annual IRL awards banquet. This will be the 30 year olds third top-ten finish in Indy Racing's season standings since winning the League's inaugural event at Walt Disney World in 1996. The team collected $797,025 in 2001 including $42,800 for today's run.
Bradley Petroleum operates gasoline and convenience stores in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming under the Bradley Food Marts, Sav-O-Mat and Sinclair names.