Hornish takes pole for NNS at Chicagoland

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Sam Hornish Jr. claimed the pole position for this afternoon’s NASCAR Nationwide Series STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway after putting together a lap at 178.341 miles per hour in the No. 12 Penske Racing Ford.

Hornish, a two-time winner at Chicagoland in his previous life as an IZOD IndyCar Series driver, will look to take the NNS championship lead this afternoon over Regan Smith, who sits just five points ahead of him in the standings.

Joining him on the front row will be Elliott Sadler, who secured second place on the grid with a lap at 178.265 miles per hour. Row 2 will be made up of Austin Dillon (177.912) and Matt Crafton (177.667), followed by last week’s Sprint Cup winner at New Hampshire, Brian Vickers (177.591) and Travis Pastrana (177.620).

Hornish’s teammate, Joey Logano, the sole Sprint Cup driver in today’s NNS field at the 1.5-mile oval, will roll off seventh (177.497). As for JR Motorsports’ Smith, he’ll have to make up some ground after posting the 13th-quickest time (176.200).

Other notables from qualifying include Joey Coulter (driving the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota that has won seven times in NNS this season with Kyle Busch) in 15th, Illinois native Justin Allgaier in 16th and buzz-worthy rookie Kyle Larson in 22nd.

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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