Tony Stewart: Kyle Larson will learn not to block me

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Kyle Larson may be one of the most heralded young drivers to hit NASCAR in some time, but three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart isn’t impressed after Larson blocked him on a restart last week at Michigan.

“He’ll learn it’s not a good idea, too,” said Stewart, who was caught wagging a finger out the window at Larson afterwards (Larson himself has said that Stewart flipped him off under caution).

“If he didn’t learn it last week, he’ll learn it in the next couple of weeks.”

Stewart believes that Larson’s move to block him directly impacted his performance in the second half of the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan.

After lining up ninth for the Lap 127 restart, Larson rose up to block him and knocked a hole in the nose of Stewart’s car. Stewart faded back to 21st following repairs on pit road during a Lap 147 caution, but rallied to finish 11th.

He thinks that Larson is in for a lesson on the matter, but that it’s up to him to decide if it will be a harsh one.

“I think he’ll learn, just like we all learned when we were rookies, one way or the other,” Stewart said today at Sonoma.

“He’ll either slow down enough and think about what he’s doing or he’ll be forced in a situation where he’ll have time to think about it [because] they’ll still be cars on the race track.”

Larson appeared to indicate that he believed he wasn’t in the wrong during a media lunch on Thursday.

“In sprint car racing, blocking is a little more, uh, normal, I guess?” Larson said according to USA Today’s Jeff Gluck. “I don’t know if he gets as angry in that as he does in stock cars when it comes to blocking.

“But I guess a guy like Tony Stewart probably respects you more if you don’t back down. So coming to a place like Sonoma, I’m sure we’ll be around each other and we’ll see what happens.

“I don’t feel like I’ve done anything dirty, so I’m not going to do anything to make the situation worse – and I hope he doesn’t. But I’m sure it’ll happen someday.”

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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