IRL: Calkins in top ten at Phoenix

PHOENIX, Sunday, March 18, 2001- Buzz Calkins handled his ...

PHOENIX, Sunday, March 18, 2001- Buzz Calkins handled his #12 Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat/ Dallara/ Oldsmobile through a myriad of problems to take a ninth-place finish in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series season opener at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) today. The Bradley Motorsports effort overcame a stuck throttle, a severe handling condition and a stall in the pits to bring home the top-ten at the Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 on the one-mile desert oval. Calkins, the 1996 Northern Light Series co-champion, was pleased with the finish considering the struggle but anticipates more for the remainder of the season.

"Long day is an understatement for the day we had," the 29-year-old Calkins commented. "This was one of those days you just want to bring it home and you hope to bring it home in one piece. If that is the worst that things can go, and short of contact I think it was, and we still finished ninth, then the Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat team will be OK this year."

Starting 11th, the #12 Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat entry struggled early on with a severe push, or understeer. The push condition quickly, and unexpectedly, turned into an equally severe loose or oversteering trait. The handling condition, coupled with the sticking throttle, forced Calkins to slow dropping the Bradley car back into the pack. However, the experienced Bradley team continued to work through the problems and chipped away the problem, bringing the car into the top-ten by lap 159 of 200.

"We had expected that we would have run a little bit better but a top-ten here and still be able to load it up on the trailer and go home is good," said Bradley team manager and engineer David Cripps. "Ultimately, I am happy with the result but I wanted to be able to compete a little more up front."

Bradley Motorsports team owner Brad Calkins reviewed the difficulty of the day and its impact on the remainder of the season for his Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat #12. "Hopefully we got all of our problems out of the way the first race... and, we finished ninth. We will be OK."

Prior to Saturday's qualifying, Bradley Motorsports announced the addition of Flip The Switch (FTS) Clothing to the team. The Colorado-based high-energy clothing company has chosen Buzz Calkins and Bradley Motorsports to further enhance the FTS product line. Calkins and Bradley were chosen- like NFL superstar Eddie George, professional baseball's Trevor Harris and Denver Bronco Ed McCaffrey- because they and the sport of Indy Racing embody the FTS product's energy.

Bradley Petroleum owns 65 convenience stores and gas stations in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming operating under the Bradley Food Mart and Sav-O-Mat names.

-Bradley Motorsports

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Buzz Calkins