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Friday, February 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Resurgent Vettel dominating F1

Red Bull driver and Formula One points leader Sebastian Vettel has had plenty to celebrate this season. (Associated Press)
Red Bull driver and Formula One points leader Sebastian Vettel has had plenty to celebrate this season. (Associated Press)

As they get ready for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, England, this weekend, a sense of urgency seems to be creeping into the Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes paddocks.

The talk Thursday was dominated by the abrupt announcement that Red Bull’s Mark Webber is leaving Formula One after the season. But for the teams competing for the drivers’ championship, the focus remains on Webber’s teammate, Sebastian Vettel.

“I think he’s doing a fantastic job. He’s been nearly perfect in all the races, always performing well in qualifying and doing very good races,” said Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who is second in the title race.

The three-time champion Vettel has shaken off some early-season tire troubles and a controversy with Webber at the Malaysian Grand Prix. The German is back to his dominant best, with the surest sign being his performance at the Canadian Grand Prix this month in which he beat Alonso by 14 seconds.

The 25-year-old Vettel has a 36 point-lead over Alonso with 12 races remaining. Lotus driver Raikkonen is another eight points back in third and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton is another 11 points behind in fourth.

Dillon wins Truck race in Kentucky

Ty Dillon overtook Kyle Busch with 26 laps remaining and held on to win the NASCAR Truck Series race at Kentucky Speedway.

Dillon is the grandson of team owner Richard Childress.

Brad Keselowski overcame midrace issues to finish second, while Busch edged defending Truck Series champion James Buescher for third.

New Hampshire lauds responders

The New Hampshire Motor Speedway will honor and welcome first responders from both the Boston Marathon bombings and the Newtown school shootings at the New Hampshire 301.

The announcement, made at a “Champions Event” luncheon at a Boston bar next to Fenway Park Thursday, was made by the track’s general manager Jerry Gappins.

Gappins – who took a cue from Charlotte Motor Speedway, which honors military personnel – said the track has joined forces with corporate sponsors to share the expense of the reserved seating. He unveiled a T-shirt that will be sold, with proceeds going to the One Fund in Boston.

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