F1 Grand Prix of USA

United States GP wins Sports Event of the Year award

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The 2012 United States Grand Prix has been awarded the prestigious Sports Event of the Year award at the SportsBusiness Journal/Daily Business Awards, which was held in New York last night.

The race was attended by over 265,000 fans, and the atmosphere was complimented by all of the drivers and teams in Austin. The track has quickly become a firm favorite among the fans and the F1 establishment thanks to its unique layout and undulations, and this award only furthers the credentials that the race can now boast.

Steve Sexton, president of the Circuit of the Americas, accepted the award at the ceremony last night.

“From the very beginning, there was some doubt whether our project would happen, but we hustled and we had a great team and a great group of owners behind us the whole way,” Sexton said. “We embarked on a nine-month journey, pulled the construction together, pulled the race off amidst a lot of complicated logistics, and had a great group of fans. I’m really proud of the team that pulled this off.”

The race marked Formula One’s return to the United States after a five year absence, and the success of the event has led to the approval of a second race in New Jersey for 2014, and rumors suggest that the sport could even return to Long Beach in the near future.

COTA will host its second United States Grand Prix on November 17 this year, and the track has also hosted V8 Supercars and Moto GP in recent weeks, both of which have gone down as huge successes.

NHRA: New book a celebration of life, love and drag racing

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The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.

Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.

Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.

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Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.

Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.

While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.

Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.

“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”

“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Report: Ecclestone believes F1 could be sold by year’s end

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Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.

Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.

“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.

But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.

Follow @JerryBonkowski