Top Fuel driver Bob Vandergriff will not appeal $20,000 fine from NHRA

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Top Fuel drag racer Bob Vandergriff Jr. told RPM2Night.com that he will not appeal or contest Thursday’s announced fine of $20,000 by the National Hot Rod Association for his actions protesting track conditions last week during the event at Atlanta Dragway.

“Obviously, I think it’s excessive and probably not justified,” Vandergriff said of the fine to RPM2Night. “I obviously was very exuberant in my protest, but in the end it doesn’t matter. If it costs me $20,000 to potentially save somebody from getting hurt, or potentially worse, than I’m okay with it.”

Vandergriff called the conditions at Atlanta Dragway were unsafe in his mind. After completing his own run, and almost losing control and crashing, he left his car at the end of the active ractrack and walked back up the dragstrip to voice his concerns to NHRA officials about the safety of the racetrack. His actions and comments to those officials are what drew the rare fine from the NHRA.

“I wasn’t going to risk another car going down that racetrack and somebody potentially getting hurt,” Vandergriff said.

Vandergriff still feels justified in his protest, but will pay the fine and put the issue behind him — providing his latest comments draw further sanctions from the NHRA.

“I wasn’t going to risk another car going down that racetrack and somebody potentially getting hurt,” Vandergriff said. “I’m not going to appeal it, it’s a waste of time. (NHRA) is the judge, jury and executioner on that kind of stuff. I really don’t have the time, effort or desire to defend a position that I know was right against somebody who’s not going to agree and try to justify it wasn’t.”

The video of Vandergriff’s interview with RPM2Night is below.

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Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.