Button: I overreacted to Hamilton’s overtake

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Jenson Button has admitted that he overreacted to Lewis Hamilton’s overtake during yesterday’s German Grand Prix, having initially called his approach to the race “strange”.

Fighting back from 20th position on the grid, Hamilton made light work of most of the field when charging through, but could not find a way past Button at first.

The two then made contact at the hairpin, with Hamilton losing his front wing endplate in the clash. He dropped back and appeared to wave his hand in apology to Button before passing one lap later. Lewis said after the race that he thought Jenson would let him through, but JB thought otherwise.

“Why would we let anyone through?” Button mused. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed but a lot of drivers take that line to get a good exit.

“I think the problem with Lewis is he expected me to let him past. I don’t think I’m the only person he drove into today.

“It’s strange, when the car is that much quicker you’d think you wouldn’t get into those kind of fights – but there you go.”

However, after looking at the incident properly, Button admitted that he overreacted.

“After watching the race back think I overreacted with my feelings about Lewis’s move,” he tweeted. “I can understand why he thought I was giving him room.

“Amazed we both got around the corner!! F1 put on a great show today and long may it continue!”

Hamilton eventually finished the race in third place, with Button being classified eighth at the flag.

Theriault clinches ARCA title before finale at Kansas

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) There is no long, convoluted story about how Austin Theriault came to Ken Schrader Racing, forging a team that so dominated the ARCA Series that it captured the title simply by showing up for the finale.

“We both wanted something to do,” the folksy Schrader said with a smile and shrug before Friday night’s race at Kansas Speedway. “He didn’t have a car to drive and I didn’t have a driver.”

So, they solved each other’s problem.

Theriault hopped into the seat and proceeded to win seven times over the first 19 races, building such a lead on his nearest challenger that he sewed up the title at Kentucky. And that made for a rather enjoyable weekend at Kansas, where all the pressure was off their team.

Along the way, Theriault became the first driver to win at a superspeedway, short track, dirt track and road event in the same season, and he swept the superspeedway and short-track challenges.

If there was something to win, he won it.

“I hoped we’d have a shot at it and it’s proved out this year that we’ve really exceeded anybody’s expectations,” Theriault said. “We had some things to work on early. We kind of dusted off a bit, went back to work. We had some time between Daytona and the mile-and-a-halfs that came up later in the season, and we realized where we were strong and where we had to work.

“But in the end it came back to pure dedication, I think,” he explained. “The amount of time it took behind the scenes to make this happen.”

The 23-year-old driver from Fort Kent, Maine, knows something about dedication. He appeared to be on racing’s fast track, scoring a Truck Series ride a few years ago for Brad Keselowski, when a terrifying crash at Las Vegas left him with a broken back and sitting on the sidelines.

The best ride he could find last year was in the K&N Pro Series.

It was at a trade show in Indianapolis last December that Theriault ran into Schrader, who was busy putting together a team for this season. They had dinner a couple nights later and, Schrader said, it was his wife Ann who came away impressed by the yes-sir, no-sir driver.

“My wife doesn’t go to all the races,” Schrader said. “After we talked she said, `I like that guy. How good is he?’ She doesn’t know. I knew he was racing well in Keselowski’s truck, had an unfortunate wreck, had to sit out a bit. I told her, `That’s somebody who could make us very happy next year.”‘

Theriault delivered on that promise.

They weren’t the only ones happy Friday, either. Zane Smith earned his second pole of the season, beating teammate Sheldon Creed to earn the top spot for the Kansas ARCA 150, while 20-year-old Natalie Decker announced a full-time ride with Venturini Motorsports next season.

“This is obviously a big step in my career,” said Decker, who made six starts as a rookie this season. “I’m confident and ready for this next move. After tonight my focus shifts to next season. We’ll be ready to go at Daytona.”