Webber not sure three-stop strategy was correct call


Mark Webber has said that he is not sure that Red Bull’s decision to put him on a three-stop strategy was the right call as the pole-sitter failed to put up a challenge to race winner Sebastian Vettel on Sunday in Japan.

Webber lost the lead at the first corner to Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, staying in second place until his early pit stop in an attempt to exercise the undercut. Although this did work, the early stop put Webber onto a three stop strategy that meant he could not catch two-stopping Vettel in the final few laps.

“We were on the back foot a bit after Romain’s great start,” Webber said. “I wanted to put pressure on him for the win. Sebastian was on a different strategy to me and in the end it worked out pretty similar. It’s hard to know which was right [two or three stops] as we were trying to cover off Romain. I did my best and in the end it was a good result.”

The Australian driver came out of the pits in third place after his final stop, but he managed to pass Grosjean thanks to his fresher set of option tires during the final stint. However, the time spent behind the Lotus driver allowed Vettel to pull away at the front and go on to win the race by seven seconds.

Having missed out on victory in Japan, Webber will be keen on picking up one last win in his final four races ahead of his retirement at the end of the season.

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