IRL: Calkins, Ray keep focus in testing

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2000 - Indy Racing Northern Light Series standouts Buzz Calkins and Greg Ray continued to prepare for the 2001 season by completing successful tests this week on opposite sides of the country. ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2000 - Indy Racing Northern Light Series standouts Buzz Calkins and Greg Ray continued to prepare for the 2001 season by completing successful tests this week on opposite sides of the country. Calkins tested Nov. 29-30 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, while 1999 Northern Light Series champion Ray tested with Team Menard on Nov. 28-29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The inaugural Indy Racing event in south Florida will take place April 8. 1996 Indy Racing League co-champion Calkins was on track for the first time since finishing ninth in the season-ending Excite 500 on Oct. 15 at Texas Motor Speedway. "We've been running well so far," Calkins said Nov. 29. "Right out of the box we ran something like a 204.8 (mph). We got some of the cobwebs out this morning since we haven't run since the last race of the season. We were pretty pleased to get back in the swing of things as quickly as we were able to." The Bradley Motorsports team concentrated on a variety of engine and chassis setups for its Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone during the test on the 1.5-mile oval. Calkins said the team is on schedule for a strong start to the 2001 season, which begins March 18 at Phoenix International Raceway. "I think we're probably in the best position we've been in since we started," Calkins said. "We're pretty happy with everything and the prospects for the new year. A lot of our strongest people are back, and we should be in good shape." At Miami, Ray turned an unofficial lap of 27.32 seconds, 197.6 mph Nov. 28 in the team's Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone but slowed slightly Nov. 29 due to windy conditions. The flat, 1.5-mile oval at Miami-Homestead Speedway has become almost an unofficial testing ground for Ray and Team Menard in the last month. They also tested at the track Oct. 27-28, with Ray turning an unofficial fast lap of 194.105. At his first Miami test, Ray predicted that racing speeds would be between 185-195 mph. It appears Ray already is ahead of schedule, judging by his unofficial top speed this week.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buzz Calkins , Greg Ray