Marco Andretti fastest in Milwaukee IndyFest first practice

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Marco Andretti led a tightly bunched first practice session for this weekend’s Milwaukee IndyFest (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network), the ninth of 19 races in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule – and the unofficial halfway point of the year as it’s the eighth of 16 race weekends.

The top 22 of 24 cars were separated by less than half a second (0.4698), with the last two a further two tenths back.

Andretti was one of two in the Andretti Autosport stable to lap the Milwaukee Mile in under 22 seconds, at a best speed of 166.684 mph. Teammate and defending race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay was next up.

Josef Newgarden and Tristan Vautier were best of the Hondas in third and fourth, with Will Power’s Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet completing the top five.

E.J. Viso, Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Simona de Silvestro and James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top 10. Hinchcliffe had the session’s only incident when he made light contact with the Turn 2 wall, but without sustaining any major damage.

Series returnees Ana Beatriz (Dale Coyne Racing) and Ryan Briscoe (Panther Racing) were 11th and 15th, respectively. Beatriz ran the most laps in the one-hour session (73), with Hinchcliffe running just 17 prior to his contact.

The second practice session is at 1 p.m. CT with qualifying at 4:15 p.m. CT (5:15 p.m. ET). See qualifying coverage at 7 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

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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