INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, August 2, 2001 - Indy Racing and Indianapolis 500 veteran Richie Hearn has joined Bradley Motorsports, team officials announced Aug. 2.
Though future plans are not definite, Hearn will take his first test laps Aug. 3 at Kentucky Speedway. The team is considering running a two-car effort in 2002. 1996 Indy Racing co-champion Buzz Calkins is the team's lead driver.
"We feel that adding a second driver will help accelerate the results of our testing program," team owner Brad Calkins said. "Although there are many capable and deserving drivers out there, Richie's name kept coming up first. His talent, his past relationship with David (Cripps, Bradley team manager and chief engineer) and his potential sponsorship associations kept bringing Richie to the top of the list.
"David and I both feel that Richie and Buzz's talents complement one another. It is my view that Richie can give us a real advantage. Nothing is definite, but if everything were to go well with the testing program, we'd like to run Richie in a race before the year is out." Said Buzz Calkins: "Richie has been someone I've known since '96 when we first started in the IRL together. He is someone I believe has a great deal of talent and someone I consider a good friend. We decided if we were going to do two cars, let's start laying the foundation for the future now. I think by having Richie join the team we are doing just that.
"We aren't a two-car team yet, but this will help us reach that goal." Hearn comes to Bradley Motorsports with a stellar resume. He won the 1996 Indy Racing event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, finished third in the 1996 Indianapolis 500 and earned 15 top-10 finishes in his three-year CART career. Most recently, Hearn drove for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series event in June at Pikes Peak International Raceway, finishing ninth.
"I've been sitting around looking for something to do," Hearn said. "I am really excited about getting back in a car and getting to work with David again. We had a lot of success together in the past. I am also looking forward to working with Brad and Buzz. Hopefully, I can contribute to the team, and we can put our program together to join Bradley in the near future."
Many of Hearn's strongest runs during his career came with Cripps as his engineer. The two will be reunited at Bradley Motorsports. "I'm excited about getting to work with Richie again," Cripps said. "We have had some great success together in the past with the victory at Vegas, the third at Indy and the pole at Loudon. I think he'll be a great asset to our team. I am very hopeful we can put together a program to make a great two-car team that will double our chance at victory."