Vettel: ‘Sucks being wrong side of the track’ after Singapore crash

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Formula 1 title contender Sebastian Vettel made no secret of his disappointment after being forced to retire from the Singapore Grand Prix on the opening lap following a crash also involving Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen.

Vettel, Verstappen and Raikkonen all collided on the run down to the first corner in slippery conditions, with the damage sustained forcing the trio to retire from the race.

The incident came as a big blow to Vettel’s championship hopes, having started the race from pole and being the favorite to win the race, a result that would have seen him overturn the three-point gap to Lewis Hamilton in the standings.

“It was very short. I had an average start, conservative,” Vettel explained to NBCSN once back in the paddock.

“I saw Max and the next thing I hear was contact. I was still able to carry on. But the damage made us stop. I spun from the damage. Radiator was heavily bent.

“This is racing. It sucks being on the wrong side of the track now.”

Female racer makes history with record finishes in dirt national midget events

Photo courtesy Toyota Racing
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Holly Shelton is riding high after setting a milestone for a female driver in a national midget series feature event on dirt this past weekend.

The Sacramento, California-area resident recorded the highest finish ever for a female dirt national midget series driver with a runner-up finish last Friday at the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League double-header weekend at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Missouri.

Shelton broke her own national record for top finish by a woman in a national dirt event – she finished third in a USAC race at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, last year.

One night after setting her new national record, Shelton and her Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota roared back Saturday to finish third (started on the outside pole) in the second half of the weekend double-header, making her the first female dirt driver ever on the national midget circuit to earn back-to-back podium finishes.

“It’s cool making history as a female, but my number one thing is I just want to win,” said Shelton, who will be graduating from Cal-State Sacramento with a B.A. in Criminal Justice this fall. “Truthfully, on the track I don’t even remember that I’m a girl. I’m just racing all the guys with the same goal they have – to win.”

Only one other woman has finished second in either a USAC or POWRi midget feature – Sarah McCune at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in 1999 – but that was on pavement, not dirt.

The record-setting weekend was great consolation for Shelton, who missed three races earlier this season due to surgery and then sat out three other races last month after suffering a race-related concussion.

“It felt good,” she said of her back-to-back podium finishes. “It builds up my confidence. The car is fast and we keep getting better and we want to build on it.”

Shelton was one of four women that competed in midget competition this weekend. The others were 19-year-old Maria Cofer and 16-year-olds Holley Hollan and Presley Truedson.

“It’s awesome seeing all the little girls come up to me excited to see me at the track,” Shelton said. “Hopefully, it encourages them to pursue their dreams as well and, as the years go on, more girls will get into it.”

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