France's Romain Grosjean, in a Lotus, was second with Red Bull's Mark Webber taking third. Vettel's win was not only his eighth in a row, but also his 12th of the season and the 38th in his short, but brilliant career of just 119 races. (Agencies)
It was also his first in America leaving only the Hungarian Grand Prix as a venue where he has yet to triumph.
"I am speechless, speechless," said an emotional Vettel on the Red Bull team radio, as he celebrated with a series of car-spinning 'doughnuts' on his slowing down lap,” he said.
"We have to remember these days boys, there is no guarantee they will last. We must enjoy it. I love this team. I love you. I am so proud of you all," he added.
Starting from pole, the 26-year-old German controlled the race from lights to flag with a consummate demonstration of skill and speed at the wheel of his equally dominant Red Bull.
If he wins the year-ender in Brazil next Sunday, he will equal Schumacher's 2004 record of 13 in a season with Ferrari.
It was in that series that Schumacher reeled off his now-beaten record of seven straight wins as he delivered his seventh and final drivers' title success.
That remains another statistical landmark for Vettel to pass.
Grosjean followed him home, 6.284 seconds adrift, for Lotus, equalling his best result, with Vettel's team-mate, retirement-bound Australian Mark Webber, third, claiming his 40th career podium.
Briton Lewis Hamilton finished fourth for Mercedes ahead of Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, German Nico Hulkenberg of Sauber and Mexican Sergio Perez of McLaren.
France's Romain Grosjean, in a Lotus, was second with Red Bull's Mark Webber taking third. Vettel's win was not only his eighth in a row, but also his 12th of the season and the 38th in his short, but brilliant career of just 119 races.