F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Practice

Vettel misses chance to capitalize on Mercedes mistakes once again


It is strange to think that not one of Red Bull’s three wins in 2014 has been taken by four-time world champion and supposed star driver Sebastian Vettel, with the German once again failing to match teammate Daniel Ricciardo for pace today at Spa.

Ricciardo claimed his third career win at the Belgian Grand Prix, beating Nico Rosberg after the Mercedes driver clashed with teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton on the second lap of the race. The Briton eventually had to retire, allowing Rosberg to move into a 29 point lead at the top of the standings.

Vettel did appear to be in the running for the race win at one point, but an uncharacteristic mistake allowed Ricciardo to pass him. He rarely saw his Australian teammate again in the race.

In the end, Vettel was drawn into a frenetic battle for position with Kevin Magnussen, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, which he eventually won to come home in fifth place.

Once again though, the defending world champion will be left ruing the fact that it is the driver across the garage and not him who has won today’s grand prix when Mercedes lapsed at the front.

It has now been five races since Vettel’s last podium finish at the Canadian Grand Prix in June.

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

F1 Grand Prix of Germany
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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