Pit Lane Mishap Eliminates Bradley From Gateway MADISON, Ill., Sunday, August 26, 2001 - Bradley Motorsports' driver Buzz Calkins was forced out of today's inaugural Gateway Indy 250 on lap 42 after pit lane contact with Alex Barron damaged the...
Pit Lane Mishap Eliminates Bradley From Gateway
MADISON, Ill., Sunday, August 26, 2001 - Bradley Motorsports' driver Buzz Calkins was forced out of today's inaugural Gateway Indy 250 on lap 42 after pit lane contact with Alex Barron damaged the Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat Dallara beyond repair. The Denver resident was credited with 22nd place in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series' event here at Gateway International Raceway, round 11 of 13. The result was made even more disappointing in that a finish today would have tied Calkins with his own record of consecutive events running at the finish with 13.
"I just had nowhere to go," related the frustrated Calkins. "It wasn't Alex' s fault. He had nowhere to go either. [Robbie] Buhl was waved out right in front of him and he had to move to avoid him. It all just wasn't necessary. The pit lane is really narrow here and instead of being patient and holding the guys in the pits the crews are just waving them out and there isn't room for that. There is just no run-off room to your right if you get into trouble. I went as far as I could to avoid Alex."
The #12 Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat Dallara suffered major damage to the left-front suspension and undertray when Baron made contact with Calkins as the two left pit lane following their first pit stop. Calkins approached the pits of Barron and Buhl in the outside/fast lane but was forced into the outside pit wall when Barron, swerving to avoid Buhl, struck him. The damage was great enough that the Todd Tapply-led crew was unable to repair it onsite and withdrew from the event. The incident also forced Baron to retire from the race.
"I'm just really disappointed," offered the 1996 IRL co-champion. "There is just no reason for your day to end so early with something that can be prevented so easily. With a little more patience on some other guys' parts, we would still be out there in the Bradley car. So, now we have to wait until next weekend at Chicago. The whole Bradley Motorsports' crew did a great job preparing the car for me and in this deal it is these guys (motioning towards his crew) that pay the price in the work they'll have to do this week in the shop. But, we'll get the Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat Dallara back together and ready to race at Chicagoland. We'll put this behind us."
The finish was Calkins' worst since engine failure at Atlanta Motor Speedway last season led to a 23rd-place finish. The early withdrawal also harms Calkins' standing in driver points. Leaving the race with a total of 200 points Calkins dropped three positions and is now tied for tenth.
Bradley Motorsports will take the Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat Dallara straight to the new Chicagoland Speedway from here. The inaugural Delphi Indy 300 is scheduled to run next Sunday, September 1 in Joliet, Illinois.
Bradley Petroleum operates gasoline and convenience stores in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming under the Bradley Food Marts, Sav-O-Mat and Sinclair names.
For more on Buzz Calkins and Bradley Motorsports, please visit www.BuzzCalkins.com.