Calkins Treadway Up To Speed

In racing, there’s no such thing as an off-season.

Buzz Calkins, Rick Treadway and Bradley Motorsports proved that Wednesday and Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That’s where veteran Calkins and rookie hopeful Rick Treadway turned laps in Indy Racing Northern Light Series equipment.

Calkins was shaking down his car and getting an early start on the 2001 testing program, and Treadway was there preparing for his IRNLS rookie test, which will take place next week.

Calkins was pleased after the first morning of testing.

"We’ve been running well so far," said Calkins, the 1996 IRNLS champion. "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."

After Calkins and Bradley Motorsports shook down the car in the morning, they planned to do a more thorough and experimental test in the afternoon session.

"We’ve been trying some different stuff on the car," Calkins said. "This afternoon, we’ll start on what we came out here to accomplish -- some different things with engine and chassis stuff.

"We’ve got a whole gamut of things we want to go through."

Calkins and Bradley Motorsports finished 15th in the IRNLS point standings, and Calkins sounded hopeful that the team could duplicate if not better that result.

"I think we’re probably in the 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."

Treadway-Hubbard was at the track, too, giving Treadway a chance to prepare for a rookie test.

"Weather permitting, we’re going to Dallas next week to get my IRL license," Treadway said. "I came from the USAC Sprint Cars and Midgets and Silver Crown cars -- the same series Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon raced in."

Treadway doesn’t want to stop at a rookie test, though. He’s hoping to be behind the wheel for a couple of races next year.

"We’re working with a couple of potential sponsors right now," Treadway said. "We may run two races next year, but hopefully we can find a sponsor to do the whole series.”

Jim Work of Treadway-Hubbard Racing said Rick’s test was impressive and that he’s well on his way to an IRNLS ride.

"He’s been wanting to get his hands on an Indy car. He’s doing real well," Work said. "At some point he’s gonna drive one of these things officially."

Calkins was impressed, as well.

"He (Treadway) seems to be getting along pretty well," Calkins said. "I think once he goes out and gets more laps in, he’ll get everything worked out. Davey Hamilton and Sam Schmidt were here, and I’m sure he got some good information from them."

"He seems like he’s in pretty good shape."

Rick’s father, Fred Treadway, owns the team that won the 1997 Indianapolis 500 with driver Arie Luyendyk. Treadway’s team also won the 500 at LVMS in 1999 with driver Sam Schmidt.

Ray Runs 197 at Miami: After Greg Ray completed his first test at Homestead-Miami Speedway at the end of October, he predicted that racing speeds there would be between 185 and 195 mph after he ran a lap of 194.105 mph.

On Tuesday, the 1999 Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion turned in a 197.6 mph speed. Maybe now the Team Menard driver can predict the pole speed, something he attained six times in 2000.

On Wednesday, Ray returned to the 1.5-mile oval, but wind kept his speeds down.

The inaugural IRNLS event at Homestead-Miami Speedway will take place April 8.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013
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