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Seven Days: Vermont Car Blog

September 08, 2008

Bob Sr.'s Weekend Racing Highlights

Editor's Note: Bob Sr. is my dad. He has been racing cars for almost 50 years. If he's not racing on Sundays you'll find him watching auto racing on TV. Every Monday he'll post an update with highlights and the inside scoop on the previous day's big races.

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Formula One race from Spa in Belgium, the fastest course in the series.

The British Wonderboy, Lewis Hamilton in only his second year in F1 starts from pole position, spins in the early going with Kimi Raikkonen, the present F1 World Champion taking an early lead from his Ferrari teammate Filipe Massa. Kimi leads the rest of the race at the course he has dominated for the last three years until two laps remain when rain falls. Hamilton is in second place and closing rapidly, when Lewis trys to pass Kimi, but Kimi closes the door and Hamilton cuts the corner on the inside going thru the chicane (not allowed) and has to let Kimi by. He retains his momentum and gets past Kimi again. Kimi  passes Hamilton but then spins in the wet crashing into the barrier.

Heidfield in the Williams BMW, who cleverly stopped for rain tires two laps previous, comes from 9th on the last lap to take third. Had there been another lap (of 4 miles) he would have surely won.

It looks like Hamilton wins with Massa in second, but hold on.

Then the surprise... after the trophy presentation, interviews, etc. it is announced that the stewards have assessed a 25 second penalty to Hamilton for passing Kimi off course and MASSA is pronounced winner with HEIDFIELD second and HAMILTON finishing in 3rd. WOW!!!

Massa is now only two points behind Hamilton for the World Championship, poor Kimi pretty much out of it, finishing 18th after leading practically the entire race, now trailing in 3rd for the championship.

Much, much controversy of course, over the penalty, but Hamilton certainly could have been back-flagged for his transgression if it was earlier in the race, which would have left Kimi the winner. Quite a wild result to say the least.There will be much written and discussed.

Next race up, The IRL, Indycar 400 at ChicagoLand Speedway.

Scott Dixon only needed to finish 8th or better to clinch the Indycar Championship but raced Helio Castroneves to the wire for the closest photo-finish in Indycar history to be pronounced winner of the race AND the Championship — only to be informed minutes later that Helio had won!

Dixon was somewhat consoled by getting the $100,000,000 check for the Series win.

For the Danica fans, she finished 10th.

NASCAR At Richmond.

  • Jimmy Johnson wins and takes momentum into the Chase starting next week in New Hampshire.
  • Stewart a disgruntled 2nd.
  • Dale Jr. spins Kyle Busch out, "What goes around comes around"....

Other News...
Dario Franchitti, former Indy 500 winner and Indy Car Champion leaves NASCAR after an unsatisfactory season to return — not to his old home at Andretti/Green — but with Chip Gannasi's Championship team paired with new champ Scott Dixon.

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