NHRA: Four first-time U.S. Nationals winners crowned in Indianapolis

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It was quite a day at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, as four new winners were crowned at the NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series’ marquee event Monday in Indianapolis.

Richie Crampton continued the banner weekend for Australians – his countryman Will Power captured the Verizon IndyCar Series championship Saturday night – with a final round win for Morgan Lucas Racing over Steve Torrence in Top Fuel.

In Funny Car, Alexis DeJoria scored her third win of the season by beating John Force. DeJoria’s 0.037 reaction time off the line trumped Force’s 0.071. The two ran nearly identical elapsed times with DeJoria posting a 4.038 to Force’s 4.039; Force ran faster (319.67 to 310.34) but the quicker reaction and ETs netted DeJoria the win.

Shane Gray took the Pro Stock win after Dave Connolly’s car incurred some sort of mechanical problem off the line. In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Eddie Krawiec took his 25th career win and first in the U.S. Nationals after edging Jerry Savoie.

Not only were the winners determined, but the 10 drivers in each of the four classes were determined for the NHRA’s Countdown, the final six races that decide the championship there.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”