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Schumacher wins F1 title

Michael Schumacher made a late pass to win the French Grand Prix and take his place in Formula One history.

Schumacher took the lead on the 68th lap Sunday, moving past Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren-Mercedes when the Finnish driver's brakes locked on a patch of oil, and held on to claim the victory and his record-tying fifth championship.

The German made the pass under a yellow flag, but McLaren-Mercedes did not challenge the move.

Schumacher, driving his backup Ferrari, finished in1 hour, 32 minutes and 9.837 seconds and clinched the driver's championship with six races remaining.

The triumph gave Schumacher 96 points in the season standings and was his eighth triumph in 11 races. No driver has won a season championship so quickly.

His fifth season title tied the record set by Juan Manuel Fangio, who won his fifth title in 1957.

Schumacher was humble when asked to compare himself to Fangio.

"What Fangio has done is not comparable to what we do," Schumacher said. "The effort he had to put in to his team was probably a lot more than what we do today, so it's not really fair to compare us."

Schumacher spent much of the race locked in second place, first behind early frontrunner Juan Pablo Montoya, and then behind Raikkonen, who took second.

Raikkonen was followed by teammate David Coulthard, Montoya of BMW-Williams, his teammate Ralf Schumacher, and Jenson Button of Renault.

Montoya won three points on Sunday, putting him in second place in the standings with 34. Ralf Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello are tied with 32 and Coulthard had 30.

After crossing the line, the 33-year-old Schumacher punched his fist in the air and moved his red car back and forth on the main straightaway.

"It wasn't supposed to happen," Schumacher said. "I didn't believe everybody, but then, with 10 laps remaining, I started to think about it. It was just lucky, I didn't really expect it, but that's auto racing."

MILE-HIGH NATIONALS: Darrell Russell raced to his second Top Fuel victory of the season, beating Cory McClenathan in the final in Morrison, Colo.

Russell had a quarter-mile run of 4.877 seconds at 301.07 mph, and McClenathan finished in 4.898 at 295.53.

"This is one of those big races that you want to win as a driver," said Russell, who gave owner Joe Amato his seventh Bandimere Speedway victory.

Del Worsham (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Matt Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won their divisions in the $1.8-million competition.

GRAND PRIX OF WASHINGTON: Panoz drivers Jan Magnussen and David Brabham held off challenges from two Audi teams to win the American Le Mans Series event.

Late Saturday

CHARTER PIPELINE 250: Greg Biffle got his third Grand National win of the year, holding off Ron Hornaday at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill.

INDY 200: Alex Barron outran Gil de Ferran in the final two laps after a restart, winning at Gladeville, Tenn., by 0.42 seconds for his first IRL win in his 11th start.

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