What to watch for: IndyCar at Barber (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN & Live Extra)

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TIGHT SQUEEZE

While the racing has gotten better at Barber Motorsports Park in recent years thanks to the Dallara DW12 and Firestone’s efforts with their tires, the 2.37-mile course is still quite narrow. Patience is always important when it comes to passing on road/street courses, but especially so at this place; a pass for position can take several laps just to set up.

‘WEB’ MASTER

If you want to win at Barber, you better make some hay at the track’s biggest passing zone – Turn 5, or ‘Charlotte’s Web’ as it’s commonly called due to the giant spider sculpture nearby. This left-hand hairpin comes off of a medium-size straight, making it a prime spot for position-swapping. But if a side-by-side battle manages to continue out of the ‘Web,’ the run down to the braking zone at Turn 8 can turn into a game of chicken really quick.

LONG BEACH PAYBACKS

Ryan Hunter-Reay’s ill-fated pass on Josef Newgarden for the lead at Long Beach left several drivers on edge. And Simon Pagenaud still remembers getting knocked into the tires at the Beach by Will Power. While it’s been two weeks since that race, we’ll have to keep an eye out for potential continuation of any issues from that wild battle in SoCal.

ROOSTER TAILS, ANYONE?

Rain is looking more and more like a possibility for today’s 90-lap race, and as we know, that could lead to the proceedings being very different than what observers were expecting. If things get a bit wet, the drivers will most certainly be earning their money today.

HONDA INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA – Starting Grid

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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