Vettel is up there with Schumacher and Senna, says Massa

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Felipe Massa paid Sebastian Vettel one of the highest compliments he could by comparing the four-times world champion with a fellow Brazilian and a former team mate of his.

“I want to congratulate Sebastian, who deserves everything he has achieved so far,” said Massa after Vettel’s title-winning drive in the Indian Grand Prix.

“I am really happy for him, because he is a great driver and a very nice guy.”

“From today, his name will sit alongside the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One, such as [Ayrton] Senna, [Michael] Schumacher and few others.”

Vettel has won ten of the sixteen races so far this year. More of his rivals added their praise following his latest triumph.

“Massive congratulations to Seb on becoming four-time world champion,” said Lewis Hamilton. “That’s an awesome achievement and he’s put in some incredible performances this season. I really hope we get to take the fight to him next year.”

Hamilton’s team mate Nico Rosberg added Vettel’s title was “well deserved”.

Jenson Button, the last driver to win the world championship before Vettel, added his “big congratulations to Sebastian”.

“He’s shown over the past few years that he’s a truly great champion. He’s had a great season, what he’s achieved is incredible.”

Dodge to celebrate 50th anniversary of Hemi motor at NHRA U.S. Nationals

Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
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When this year’s NHRA U.S. Nationals plays out from August 29 through September 3 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, a lot of folks are going to be channeling one of the most famous lines in motorsports:

“Hey, that thing got a Hemi?”

Dodge and parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday – on National Hemi Day, no less – announced that it will celebrate the Hemi’s 50th anniversary of Super Stock cars with the 18th annual Dodge Hemi Challenge during the U.S. Nationals.

Cars that will take part in the Challenge will be 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda cars – “The most iconic of the Mopar package cars,” touted a Dodge press release – in a head-to-head battle.

The Dart and Barracuda were purpose built for use solely on a drag strip. The 23 entrants in the Challenge will drive their personally owned versions of the ’68 ‘Cuda and Dart.

The winner of the Challenge – which will be held August 30-31 – will take home a $15,000 purse, while cash rewards will be available for all 16 drivers that qualify for final eliminations.

“The Dodge brand is proud to serve as title sponsor of the NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge, an event that spotlights the legacy and power of the 426 HEMI engine,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America.

Beahm added, “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars that debuted back in 1968 and are still competing today, which makes our support of this edition of the HEMI Challenge extra special.”

One special incentive for contestants is the 42.6-pound NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy, created in the spirit of the 426 (cubic inch) HEMI engine.

Jimmy Daniels has won the Challenge the last two years and goes for a three-peat in this year’s race within a race. His father, Jim Daniels, won the race in 2010.

The Challenge’s all-time winningest driver is Charlie Westcott Jr. of Parma, Michigan, who captured the Challenge in six different years: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

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