IRL: Buzz Bits Kansas City notes

Buzz Bits - Notes on Buzz Calkins and Bradley Motorsports Ameristar Casino Indy 200 - Kansas Speedway ...

Buzz Bits - Notes on Buzz Calkins and Bradley Motorsports
Ameristar Casino Indy 200 - Kansas Speedway
#12 Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat Dallara-Oldsmobile

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Buzz Calkins took 20 points away from the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway for his tenth place finish to bring the season total to 139 points. Currently ranked eighth in the drivers' standings, the same place he entered into the Richmond race, Calkins is five points out of seventh-place in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series standings. There are six races remaining in the 13-race schedule including the Ameristar Casino Indy 200.


A top-ten finish at the SunTrust Indy Challenge in Richmond last Saturday night moved Buzz Calkins closer to breaking his own Indy Racing record. The 1996 IRL co-champion has now been running at the conclusion of nine consecutive races, his record, set over three seasons, is 13 events. The current streak, beginning last August at Kentucky Speedway, compliments the Denver-native's 76.5% finishing percentage in the races he has started. To date, Calkins has taken the #12 Bradley entry under the checkered flag 36 times in a possible 47 events since winning the inaugural IRL race at Walt Disney World Indy 200 in 1996, placing him as the all-time leader of races running at the finish. Including last weekend's event, Calkins has finished in the top-ten in 19 of those 47 (40.4%) races.

Through the Richmond race, Calkins has completed 1,408 laps in 2001, ranking him third in the category. With his 47 career starts, the 30-year-old driver is ranked fourth on the all-time starts list.


Bradley Motorsports and Buzz Calkins had a scheduled test here at Kansas Speedway on June 25. However, with very few laps on the track a front brake rotor broke while leaving the pits. The test was long enough for Calkins to learn the basics of the track, a complex he compares with Kentucky Speedway.

first pitch

Pitching at a Major League Baseball (MLB) park is the dream of many. On June 26th, Buzz Calkins made that dream come true by throwing out the first pitch in the Kansas City Royals-Detroit Tigers MLB baseball game in Kansas City.

stay in school

Buzz Calkins is the only active IRL driver to hold a Masters of Business Administration (MBA), a degree completed last year while competing in the Northern Light Series fulltime. Many ask why a successful race driver, already holding an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado in economics and history, would return to school to pursue a degree that, if all goes well, he will never need. The main reason for returning for his MBA, at one of the country's premier schools, the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, was for something to fall back on. Calkins has no plans of retiring any time soon but has given himself the opportunity for the long-away future date when he does.

Buzz Calkins, driver

(about Kansas Speedway):
"Kansas is a great facility, one of the best in the country. I am actually quite surprised it has taken this long to get a track built there. That is the middle of such a racing hotbed. The track seems a lot like Kentucky but maybe a little narrower, so it will be challenging. We typically run very well on mile-and-a-half tracks, so I am really looking forward to going there with the Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat car. It should prove to be a great event."

(about the wearing the HANS device):
"It is a non-issue, really. We had to adjust the headrest to make it comfortable in the car but once we did that I didn't even notice it. Anytime you can wear something that decreases your chances of being injured it only makes good sense to do it. I'll wear it every time I am in the car from here on out."

(about the affect of winning in the IRL):
"I think winning would take the monkey off our back big time. And I think that was the goal going into this year to win a race and hopefully be able to finish in the top-five in points. That was kind of like the minimum goal I wanted to set and I won't be happy unless we actually attain that."

(about the streak of race events from late April to July):
"This is going to be the toughest part of the season without a doubt. You are going to see the difference between the strong and weak teams and who is best able to deal with the hectic schedule. People are going to burn out and equipment is going to be used up and the teams that can deal with both of these issues will end up on top."

David Cripps, engineer/ team manager

(about the Bradley's test at Kansas Speedway):
"Although we had a short test at Kansas, I think that we were able to get a good idea as to what direction to take. The test will help us in preparing both the Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat cars to run the first session."

(about the team's approach to the Ameristar Casino Indy 200):
"Bradley Motorsports always has the same approach to all the tracks. try and win it!"

(about the preparations for the 2002 season now passed the mid-point of 2001):
"I think we are always keeping the next season in the back of our minds, with as many things going on right now, with chassis and engines, it is going to be very important to be positioned correctly for the 2003 season."

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-Bradley Motorsports-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Buzz Calkins