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From the Marbles

Sebastian Vettel is just Richard Pettying everyone

Nick Bromberg
From The Marbles

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Vettel

Say what you want about the Chase -- and yes, we know there are those of you out there that still dislike it -- but it's got to be fun that we have no idea who the 2011 Sprint Cup champion will be, right?

If you're a Formula 1 fan and not a fan of Sebastian Vettel, you're probably already dreaming of 2012.

Vettel won yet again at Monza on Sunday, extending his championship lead to a whopping 112 points. That's dominance that hasn't been seen in NASCAR since the days of Richard Petty.

Vettel has won eight of the series' 13 races so far in 2011 and has 10 pole positions. (All of his wins have come from the pole) The other three poles? Those have been by his teammate, Mark Webber.

Yeesh.

This type of dominance has become fairly common in Formula 1 over the last 10 years. Michael Schumacher won at least 9 races five times, including winning 13 races in 2004. After becoming the youngest ever F1 champion last year, Vettel's obviously young enough to challenge Schumacher's mark, but in the engineering-heavy world of F1, it may depend more on Red Bull's continued prowess than his driving ability. (During Monza weekend, Vettel's top speed was clocked at 15 MPH slower than everyone else, but his cornering speed was head and shoulders above the field.)

So as we gear up for the Chase this week, enjoy the unknown, even if it eventually means that Jimmie Johnson is going to win a sixth straight title. It could already be decided.

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