IRL: Calkins grids 11th for series opener

PHOENIX, Saturday, March 17, 2001- Under a cloudless Arizona-sky Buzz Calkins drove the ...

PHOENIX, Saturday, March 17, 2001- Under a cloudless Arizona-sky Buzz Calkins drove the #12 Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat/ Dallara/ Oldsmobile to the inside of row six with a time of 20.8352 seconds (172.785 mph) around the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). The 11th-quick lap ranked as the Denver-native's quickest of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series' weekend. The 29-year old will start alongside Eddie Cheever, Jr. in the Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 tomorrow.

"It (the car) was understeering down in turn-one more than it had so I didn' t get all out of it I could... but it is the best the car has been all weekend," said the Kellogg College MBA-graduate. "Starting just outside the top-ten will be OK. It is a long race tomorrow. We should be in good shape. We have a great car and the Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat team is really starting to click. I'm looking forward to 200 laps tomorrow."

Calkins has been gaining on the track since the first practice and feels that his Bradley Motorsports' team has locked on the set-up that should move them to the front in the 2001 season-opener. The team, which was the 1996 Northern Light Series co-champions, used most of the practice session to prepare the car for tomorrow's 200-mile event with qualifying.

"This being the first race of the Northern Light Series season, people will tend to get into trouble," anticipated Calkins. So, you just need to run your own race and keep your own pace. If you stay out of trouble, you should be OK."

"The trick to this place," offered Bradley Motorsports' team manager and engineer David Cripps, "is to not get too excited. Just roll with the changes. That has been our approach and we will continue that through tomorrow."

Prior to this morning's practice, Bradley Motorsports announced the addition of Flip The Switch (FTS) Clothing to the team. The Colorado-based maker of men's clothing is in its first foray in auto racing but supports several other sporting figures. The 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 Eddie Cheever