Montoya’s high expectations, race car both run out of gas at Sonoma

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Juan Pablo Montoya did everything he could to win Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway.

He ran up front and challenged for the lead numerous times during the 110-lap event that was won by Martin Truex Jr.

In the final year of his current contract with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Montoya has struggled terribly with just two top-five and one other top-10 finish in the first 16 races. He came into Sunday’s race ranked 22nd in the Sprint Cup standings.

A strong finish would likely have gotten him into the top 20 and may have served as motivation to edge closer to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Unfortunately, all of the hopes of Montoya and his team for a great finish ended on the final lap of Sunday’s race when his car ran out of fuel.

In the end, Montoya finished a disappointing 34th.

“It’s just a heartbreak, a heartbreak for me and everyone on the team,” Montoya said when interviewed by TNT after the race.

Not to add insult to injury or pour salt into his fresh wounds, but Montoya’s final pit stop came on Lap 69, the same lap Truex made his final stop.

One wound up having too much of a lead foot, while the other feathered his gas pedal all the way to Victory Lane.

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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