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Vettel makes history in win

September 15, 2008|From the Associated Press

Sebastian Vettel became the youngest driver to win a Formula One race Sunday when the 21-year-old German took the Italian Grand Prix on a wet Monza course that made for difficult driving.

Vettel was on the pole and edged Heikki Kovalainen of McLaren by 12.5 seconds to give Torro Rosso its first victory.

"For sure the best day of my life," Vettel said. "These pictures, these emotions I will never forget."

Fernando Alonso, a two-time world champion, had been the youngest winner at 22 when he took the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton worked his way up from 15th on the grid to finish seventh, maintaining his lead in the overall standings. Felipe Massa of Ferrari was sixth and trails the McLaren driver by one point with four races left.

Vettel is also the youngest driver to start from the pole.

BMW-Sauber's Robert Kubica was third, followed by Alonso of Renault and Nick Heidfeld of BMW-Sauber.


Tony Schumacher broke a tie with Joe Amato for the top-fuel career victory record, taking the inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C., for his 53rd triumph.

Schumacher powered his dragster to a final-round performance of 3.882 seconds at 317.64 mph to hold off Antron Brown (3.923 at 309.42).

It was Schumacher's seventh straight victory, 12th of the year, 28th consecutive elimination-round win and 14th final-round appearance -- all NHRA season top-fuel records.

Jack Beckman, Justin Humphreys and Steve Johnson won in funny car, pro stock and pro stock motorcycle, respectively, in the first of six races in the NHRA Powerade Series Countdown to 1.


Valentino Rossi won the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix, pulling away before a sudden rainstorm and swirling wind stopped the race eight laps from the finish.

During the storm, two fans were injured and taken to Methodist Hospital after an infield tent collapsed. Their injuries were described as not life-threatening.

It was the first time motorcycles competed at the Speedway since 1909, the year the track was built and two years before the first Indianapolis 500.

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