NASCAR: Justin Allgaier sitting out of Friday’s Sprint Showdown

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Sprint Cup rookie Justin Allgaier will not compete in Friday’s Sprint Showdown for an opportunity to make the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte the next night.

The winner and runner-up in the Showdown move on to the main event, but Allgaier’s car owner, Harry Scott, has opted to pull the Illinois driver from Friday’s event in order to focus on upcoming points-paying races such as the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend.

The decision comes after Allgaier wrecked in last weekend’s 5-Hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway. He was clipped by a spinning A.J. Allmendinger and spun into David Gilliland, who took a second impact with the SAFER Barrier in the tri-oval.

Both drivers were checked and released from the infield care center, but not after enduring perhaps the hardest hit so far this Sprint Cup season. It was Allgaier’s third crash in the last four races.

“For us, being a small independent team, obviously points races are the main focus,” Allgaier said according to the Associated Press. “With crashing a couple of weeks ago at Talladega and crashing last week at Kansas, it puts a toll on a team and this is going to give us to really hit the reset button and push through.

“I understand it, I know why we are doing it. I would much rather go and try to win the 600 then to just make it through the Showdown and just make it through the 600.”

Allgaier also noted that his team buys older chassis, primarily from Hendrick Motorsports, and needs time to prepare them.

“We get older cars, they are not cheap, and they are not the easiest to get,” he said. “If they’ve got a good car, they don’t want to get rid of them too soon.”

It’s been a trying first year in Cup for Allgaier, who ran five full seasons in the Nationwide Series before moving up for 2014. He sits 29th in the Cup standings with a top finish of 17th at Bristol Motor Speedway in March.

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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