Teams looking for Gen-6 knowledge in Vegas test

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Las Vegas Motor Speedway will open up one day early for an Sprint Cup Open Test session tomorrow, giving drivers and teams an opportunity to learn more about the Generation 6 cars.

The lighter, sleeker Gen-6 cars – which were designed to improve the racing products on intermediate tracks such as LVMS – continue to be a riddle for everyone in the garage. So far, the new cars have put on two relatively subpar shows at Daytona and Phoenix (with Denny Hamlin being particularly pointed in his comments on the subject after the latter race), but at the same time, the learning process remains ongoing.

That, as well as 1.5-mile tracks like LVMS making up the bulk of the calendar, makes Thursday’s test so important for the teams.

“It will help us a ton,” Stewart-Haas Racing crew chief Steve Addington said to NASCAR.com after last weekend’s event at Phoenix. “It’s just learning. It’s going to take us a few races, I think. The Las Vegas test will help (but) it won’t tell us what will happen when we get 43 cars out there again.

“We need to try to get some time to run with a couple of cars and see…how it affects the car on the mile-and-a-half tracks. We’ve got teammates; we can get out there with three cars and see what it does to the cars. We’ve got to use that.”

Teams were able to gain some initial knowledge on the Gen-6 cars at another 1.5-mile oval, Charlotte Motor Speedway, this past January.

As for tomorrow’s test at Vegas, it is expected to run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. PT, and the session will be free and open to the public.

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

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