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Seven Days: Vermont Car Blog

September 15, 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 the weekend 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 weekend’s big races.


The Italian Grand Prix at Monza...

The most famous Formula One track in the world — 3.6 miles long, steeped in automotive history, adored by fans and feared by many drivers for top speeds in excess of 220 mph while slipping by trees forming a canopy over the course in several places. It has taken the lives of too many drivers over the years.


Just as last week in Belgium, the rains came again... bringing more surprises. Up-and-coming 21-year-old German, Sebastian Vettel, the youngest driver in F1, absolutely dominated qualifying on a rain-drenched Monza on Saturday and handily took pole position becoming the youngest F1 driver to ever do so.

Top drivers Lewis Hamilton of McLaren and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen start back in 15th and 14th respectively... and more rain forecast for Sunday.

Pouring rain, all cars with maximum rain tires and setups, off they go with young Sebastian setting the early pace. (Author's note: Try to imagine hurtling along at 200mph plus, open cockpit, no windshield wipers and for all but the race leader little to NO visibility because of rooster tails in front. I've been there, it sucks.)

Sebastian is flying, stretching out a huge 11-second lead. Cars are sliding, aqua-planing through corners, body contact galore. Sebastian is relentless, setting fastest lap, lap after lap, seeming always in control.
Rain slackens, some drivers try different tires only to fall back when the rain increases. Pit stops are all important now and Sebastian's crew, Scuderia Toro Rosso — who are actually the "Jr.Varsity" to the older more experienced Red Bull team, not to mention, Ferrari, McLaren, et al — pull off the perfect pit stop strategy without a glitch, keeping Vettel in front throughout. (To give you an idea of the type of giant-killing performance unfolding, the McLaren team employees outnumber Toro Rosso over 20 to 1, not to mention financing.)


With heart in mouth, Vettel precisely hits every apex perfectly and crosses the finish lin,e covering his eyes in disbelief as he takes the checkered flag. The youngest Formula One Grand Prix winner IN HISTORY! Amazing.

Heiki Kovalainen of McLaren finishes 2nd wondering how in the world he was beaten so badly and Robert Kubica drove a very smart race to finish 3rd.

Hamilton retains his World Championship lead by ONE point over Filipe Massa who finished 6th. Hamilton in 7th and Raikkonen 9th.

There were many explanations by many drivers as to why they didn’t do better, or could have done better "only if," but even the biased British commentators, obviously in love with Hamilton, could not help but finally heap praise on the 21-year-old Vettel for his incredible accomplishment.

With the playing of his National anthem, the subsequent Champagne celebration, the final interviews, he pronounced it the happiest day of his life.

Well done Sebastian, many more!

Next they move to Singapore in 2 weeks for the first ever Formula One NIGHT race.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

This is the first of ten races to decide the winner of The Sprint Cup Series.

Kyle Busch — leading the series all year — was dealt a harsh blow when a broken suspension piece resulted in a spin and a crash then a pit lane penalty which put him in last place a lap down.

He was livid.

All the usual suspects took turns going to the front. Earnhardt Jr. leading a bunch of laps until getting a set of bad tires. His crew did well to help him finish 4th. He had a car that could have won. He too was livid.

A five-car accident midway through the race took out contender Matt Kenseth.

The best race was during the last twenty laps or so when Jimmy Johnson looked to going for another win but Greg Biffle close behind was starting to come alive. Jimmy seemed to waver ever so slightly and Biffle got by, never to give up the lead. An emotional Biffle took a while to exit his car after driving to Victory Circle. It was his first win of the year and a popular one. Biff goes from 9th to 3rd in the Chase standings.  ohnson and Edwards in a virtual tie for 1st & 2nd. Junior in 4th, Burton 5th, Hamlin 6th,Tony Stewart 7th, Kyle Busch in 8th, his worst race of the year. Johnson led the most laps. He and Edwards are 30 points ahead of Biffle in 3rd.

On to Dover next week. There Will Be Blood...


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Bob Sr. -

Thank you for this great post to the site. Hope to meet you in person some day!

One of Bob, Jr's 7Days Collegues

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