Jeff Gordon in the wall early at Texas

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Trouble has struck for Jeff Gordon, who entered today’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway third in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. On Lap 74, Gordon slid up Turn 2 and hit the wall, inflicting significant damage to the right side of his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Gordon had kept his title hopes alive with a victory last weekend at Martinsville Speedway, but his bid for a fifth Sprint Cup could be done for now as his team continues to work in the garage to fix the damaged No. 24. He was running 12th at the time of the crash.

“I just know the left front [tire] went down as I was going down the front straightaway,” Gordon told ESPN. “I felt it before I got there, but I couldn’t get it slowed down enough. I don’t know – the wind was so strong that the car was doing funky things down the straightaway, so I don’t know if that was a slow leak or if it just went all of a sudden.”

Gordon felt that his car, while not good off restarts, was very strong on the long runs prior to the crash. But now, he’ll have to focus on trying to salvage the afternoon.

“This is definitely gonna hurt and we just need to get what we can out of this day and go on to Phoenix,” Gordon said.

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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