A.J. Foyt, Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath swap helmets (VIDEO)

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Situated in Alabama, Barber Motorsports Park has the ability to use the state’s rich sports history in order to help promote its various races.

The road course outside Birmingham has brought in Alabama sports luminaries such as Charles Barkley, Bart Starr, and Bo Jackson to be Grand Marshal for its Verizon IndyCar Series races in the past.

And for this year’s running, the honor has gone to Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback “Broadway Joe” Namath, who led the Alabama Crimson Tide to the 1964 National Championship – five years before he followed through on his guarantee of victory at Super Bowl III with the New York Jets.

As part of his pre-race rounds, Namath met up with another legend in four-time Indianapolis 500 champion and current Verizon IndyCar Series team owner A.J. Foyt.

The two swapped helmets, with Foyt receiving an autographed ‘Bama football helmet with Namath’s famous No. 12…

…and Namath receiving an autographed 1960s racing helmet trimmed in Coyote Orange and bearing the message “It’s hell getting old!”

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver Josef Newgarden also showed Namath the technology behind the steering wheel on his No. 67 Honda…

…and then, the two joined with a chef from Taste of the South magazine for a cooking demonstration.

“To meet people that I was a fan of growing up, starting with A.J., is something else,” Namath told INDYCAR.com. “To see the young guys such as Josef Newgarden out there doing their thing surrounded by the teams…It’s amazing what they do in these super race cars.”

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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