Homestead flashback: Busch wins first Chase in 2004 (VIDEO)

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We’re hitting the way back machine on this one.

Jimmie Johnson stands on the precipice of winning his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship – all of them have come in the Chase for the Sprint Cup format, introduced in 2004.

It seems hard to believe but there have been four Chases where Johnson didn’t win the title. The inaugural Chase in 2004 was one of them.

Johnson was one of the three drivers in with a shout at the 2004 crown. At the time, he hadn’t captured a Cup championship while Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon was seeking his fifth (he still is, nine years later).

Their biggest rival was Roush Racing’s Kurt Busch. Busch lost a wheel at one point in the race but didn’t make contact with the pit lane wall on pit in, which was a lucky break that allowed him to keep going.

As the race progressed, Busch had enough of a points gap in hand despite Johnson and Gordon’s attempts to close. Busch’s teammate Greg Biffle won with Johnson second, Gordon third and Busch fifth. That was enough to give the Las Vegas driver his first and thus far only NASCAR championship.

Allen Bestwick, Wally Dallenbach and the late Benny Parsons were on the call for NBC in the first Chase finale, Homestead, 2004.

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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