F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Previews

Button still yet to sign fresh deal with McLaren

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Speculation surrounding Jenson Button’s future at McLaren continues to persist after the British driver once again acknowledged that a deal is yet to be signed for 2014,  although he is confident that he will be racing for the team in 2014.

“I’ve got a good feeling I’ll be here next year,” Button explained. “That’s as much as I can say. I’m happy.”

Button was in a jovial mood on Thursday, making light of a mistake that saw him walk into Lotus’ hospitality unit.

“I walked out of the toilet and straight into Lotus. Luckily enough there wasn’t a snapper ready and waiting!”

Looking ahead from 2014, Button said that he was excited about McLaren’s new engine deal with Honda in 2015, with the Japanese manufacturer set to return to Formula One after a seven-year break.

“I think for the team it’s fantastic for the future, and I think for any driver within this team in the future, I think it’s a great opportunity working with such a big manufacturer, especially when such big changes are in line,” Button said.

The 2009 world champion has finished in second place at the last two Singapore Grands Prix, and although the pace of the MP4-28 car means that a repeat is unlikely this weekend, he will be keen on scoring as many points as possible in order to keep the team ahead of Force India in the constructors’ championship.

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