Canadian F1 Grand Prix - Practice

Jenson Button elated with fourth place in Canada


Jenson Button has come away from the Canadian Grand Prix weekend with a smile on his face and 12 points in his back pocket after finishing yesterday’s race in fourth place.

The McLaren driver had qualified down in ninth, and believed that the team would struggle in the hot conditions on race day in Montreal. However, he put in a fine display to come home in fourth place – a result made all the more impressive by the fact that he was running eighth with just three laps to go.

Button managed to fight his way past Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg on track in the dying stages of the race, before benefitting from the crash between Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez on the final lap at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“I had a little dice with Fernando and Nico,” Button explained. “Fernando almost hit Nico at the hairpin, and had to dive down the inside. Then they both ran wide and I got down the inside of both of them.

“On the final lap you never want to see an accident like Felipe and Checo’s, but fortunately they both got out of their cars okay, which was good.

“We come out of this weekend knowing that there’s a better overall feel to our car. It’s encouraging that we’re making progress. In a straightforward race, I wouldn’t have finished fourth, but we did a good job today and ought to be happy. These points are helpful, and they’ll spur us on to do another good job in Austria.”

Button’s teammate, Kevin Magnussen, managed to squeeze into the top ten thanks to the accident, and was classified ninth when the checkered flag fell. The Dane has struggled ever since his stunning charge to second place on debut in Australia back in March. Following this 18 point haul, he has scored just five in the past six races.

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