Newgarden gets first top 10 at Barber, and seeks more

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It says a lot about the maturity and determination of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing sophomore Josef Newgarden that he was disappointed with ninth place at Barber Motorsports Park.

Newgarden (shown at St. Petersburg), regarded as one of the emerging American talents in the IZOD IndyCar Series, had not yet secured a top-10 finish in his first 16 starts due to a litany of bad luck. Frequent mechanical delays or contact, often not of his own doing, didn’t properly reflect his pace shown last year.

“I really think we should have been sixth or seventh,” Newgarden admitted. “I’m disappointed, but even so we still finished with a good top-10, but there’s definitely more to be gained.”

An off-course excursion cost Newgarden some time on Sunday, but nonetheless, he’d pressed ahead from a 22nd place grid position. Two tenths was all that separated him from advancing in his group in Q1, but that microscopic gap covered five positions.

Still, the Nashville native accentuated the positive for his team.

“It was a huge team effort,” Newgarden said. “In IndyCar, with it being so tight, everything has got to go right, everyone’s got to do their part, and when that happens I think we’re going to put good results together and that’s really what you saw today.”

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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