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Vettel wins, Webber still atop F1 points

SUZUKA, Japan — Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel edged teammate Mark Webber on Sunday to win the Japanese Grand Prix and move closer to the Formula One championship lead.

Vettel started from the pole at the 3.61-mile Suzuka circuit and led most of the race to defend his Japanese GP title and close the gap on Webber, the points leader.

"It was an incredible day with qualifying in the morning and the win in the afternoon," Vettel said. "It seems like this track was drawn for us."

Ferrari's Felipe Alonso, who saw his two-race win streak snapped, finished third to remain in contention for the title.

With three races left, Webber leads with 220 points, ahead of Vettel and Alonso with 206. Alonso, who won the previous two races in Singapore and Italy and has four wins this season, is in second place because he has more wins than Vettel.

NHRA: Larry Dixon improved to 12-0 in Top Fuel final appearances this year, beating title rival Cory McClenathan at the Toyo Tires Nationals in Mohnton, Pa. "Our car just hooked up," Dixon said. "I had such a run on him, and I blew by him so fast." Dixon leads McClenathan by 89 points with two races remaining. Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Dave Connolly (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won their classes.

HMIEL INJURED: Ex-NASCAR driver Shane Hmiel was in critical but stable condition after being injured Saturday night during qualifying for a USAC Silver Crown sprint car race in Terre Haute, Ind. Hmiel, 30, was banned for life from NASCAR in 2006 after failing three drug tests. USAC said he was airlifted to Indianapolis' Methodist Hospital, where he was in critical condition with head injuries and was expected to have surgery.

Vettel wins, Webber still atop F1 points 10/10/10 [Last modified: Sunday, October 10, 2010 9:41pm]
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