Jimmie Johnson, wife Chandra welcome baby girl; Regan Smith to fill in today

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Congratulations are in order for five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and his wife, Chandra, who welcomed their second child earlier this morning at a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina.

According to a statement from Hendrick Motorsports, the Johnsons’ new baby daughter weighed in at five pounds, 10 ounces, and was 19 inches long at birth.

“Big sister Genevieve Marie, 3, is said to be very proud of her new baby sister,” the statement said. “Mother and baby and are doing fine and are expected to remain in the hospital overnight.”

As for Five-Time, who has already clinched his berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, he will miss today’s activities at Richmond International Raceway.

Filling in for him in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet will be NASCAR Nationwide Series title contender Regan Smith. He will take part in today’s Cup practices and also qualify the No. 48 for tomorrow’s Federated Auto Parts 400.

Johnson will be back for tomorrow’s main event, but because Smith will qualify his car for him, he will have to start the race from the rear of the field.

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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