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Buzz Calkins

Full Name:
Bradley H Calkins jr
Born:
2nd May 1971 (Age 49)
Denver, Colorado
Nationality:
American
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Civil war raged in North American open-wheel racing in 1996 as the sport was split between the rival Champ Car World Series and new Indy Racing League. The latter established its back-to-ovals, back-to-American championship with a three-race calendar at the start of that year and the previously little-known Buzz Calkins was one of the prime beneficiaries.

Early racing career

Calkins began racing "completely by mistake" when his father bought him a kart. He made his Formula Ford 1600 debut in the 1989 Midwest Championship while still at the University of Colorado and won the title at the second attempt. Calkins graduated to Indy Lights in 1993 with his family-run Bradley Motorsports team. Progress was slow but he twice finished on the podium during 1995, aided by the arrival of experienced engineer Ken Anderson.

Indy Racing League success

His plans for 1996 were altogether more ambitious for he entered the Indy Racing League with a Reynard 95I-Ford. He qualified fifth for the inaugural event at Florida’s Disney World and emerged as a surprise winner. Sixth at Phoenix and 17th in the Indianapolis 500 was enough to tie Scott Sharp for that first truncated IRL championship title.

Calkins was second at New Hampshire at the start of the 1996/97 season but would not win again. He broke an ankle testing there in the season and racing was perhaps now secondary to his studies at the Kellogg School of Management. Calkins finished a career-best 10th in the 1998 Indy 500 before retiring from the sport at the end of 2001 to work for his father’s Colorado-based petroleum business.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series
Bradley Motorsports
13 0 1 0
0% win rate
9th 242
2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Series
Bradley Motorsports
9 0 0 0
0% win rate
15th 145
1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League
Bradley Motorsports
10 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
13th 201
1998 Pep Boys Indy Racing League
Bradley Motorsports
9 0 0 0
0% win rate
19th 134
1996/1997 Indy Racing League
Bradley Motorsports
9 0 1 0
0% win rate
10th 204
1996 Indy Racing League
Bradley Motorsports
3 0 1 1
34% win rate
1st 82
1995 PPG/Firestone Indy Lights Championship 12 0 2 0
0% win rate
6th 77
1994 PPG/Firestone Indy Lights Championship 12 0 0 0
0% win rate
10th 41
1993 Firestone Indy Lights Championship 11 0 0 0
0% win rate
11th 44