NASCAR short-trackers set to return to Daytona in February

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After a successful debut last season, multiple NASCAR minor leagues will once again race at Daytona International Speedway in February of 2014.

The UNOH “Battle at the Beach” is set for Feb. 18, 2014 and will see the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (pictured), as well as the NASCAR Whelen Modified and Southern Modified Tours, compete on a 4/10-mile oval on Daytona’s backstretch.

The K&N East race will count toward its championship as its second event of 2014, while both Modified divisions will come together for a non-points event; each will run for 150 laps.

“Fans around the world look forward to Speedweeks to kick off the NASCAR season, and we are proud to be able to present a week of short-track action leading up to the 56th running of the Daytona 500,” NASCAR vice president of touring and weekly series George Silbermann said in a statement.

“The anticipation for last year’s first UNOH Battle at the Beach was surpassed only by the number of people talking about the electrifying finishes.”

Indeed, last year’s short-track gathering at the “World Center of Speed” was a memorable one as all three events were decided by last-lap contact.

Kyle Larson, now preparing for his inaugural Sprint Cup season with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, had multiple run-ins with C.E. Falk III in the final stages of the Whelen All-American Series race before pushing him aside on the final corner to take the win.

In the Whelen Modified race, former Sprint Cup driver Steve Park spun out Mike Stefanik in Turn 2 on the last lap and went on to the checkered flag – leaving an angry Stefanik to declare the contact “bull—-” afterwards on national television.

Then in the K&N Series race, Cameron Hayley and Gray Goulding knocked fenders together coming to the finish before Hayley won out by a narrow margin.

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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