Webber congratulates Power, saying that he’s “never had anything handed to him”

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Former Formula 1 driver Mark Webber has congratulated fellow Australian Will Power on his Verizon IndyCar Series championship victory at last night’s MAVTV 500 in Fontana.

Power finished ninth in the 250-lap race to secure his first IndyCar title, getting the monkey off his back after finishing as the runner up in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Title rival Helio Castroneves finished the race in 14th after receiving a drive-through penalty for cutting the pit entry line when coming in to stop. Tony Kanaan was the eventual winner at Fontana, marking his first race win of the season.

Taking to Twitter after the race, Webber, who now races in the World Endurance Championship with Porsche, sent his congratulations to Power.

“Massive congrats to @12WillPower on the Indy title,” he wrote. “The guy has worked his ring off for years, and never had anything handed to him.”

Power is the first Australian driver to win the IndyCar title, and his success comes in tandem with Daniel Ricciardo’s breakthrough season in Formula 1, making it a very good time for racing fans Down Under.

Webber’s next racing commitment comes at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas for the next round of the WEC in September.

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