Penske, Ganassi drought highlight stats out of Long Beach

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We mentioned earlier today that top 10s in either qualifying or the race in the IZOD IndyCar Series have been spread around the grid fairly evenly. Here are some other stats of note beyond the top 10 disparity numbers:

  • Entrants from Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing (right) have been shut out of victory lane since Sonoma last year, when Ryan Briscoe won. That’s only a stretch of five races in between, but is the longest such streak since open wheel unification in 2008 (four in a row last year from Texas through Toronto was the longest).
  • Tristan Vautier took the first 10-spot grid penalty of the year. Coincidentally, his teammate Simon Pagenaud was the first victim of it last year at St. Petersburg. Long Beach last year had 12 grid penalty victims as all Chevrolet teams and a handful of Lotus runners performed unapproved engine changes.
  • Long Beach’s podium finishers from A.J. Foyt Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Dale Coyne Racing represented the first race under IndyCar sanction to not have a driver from Penske, Ganassi or Andretti since Motegi 2003. The last Champ Car race, Will Power’s Long Beach win in 2008, featured a podium made up of entrants from KV Racing Technology and the now-defunct Forsythe Pettit and Pacific Coast Motorsports teams (Franck Montagny and Mario Dominguez).
  • And, lastly, Brazil will mark the one-year anniversary of Power’s last win. Who would have thought that was possible last April?

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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