NASCAR: Drive to End Hunger returning as primary sponsor for Jeff Gordon

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Hendrick Motorsports may be losing the backing of the National Guard at season’s end, but has retained another of its more prominent sponsors.

The AARP’s Drive to End Hunger campaign will again be featured on Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet next season, serving as a primary sponsor for 13 races (including the Daytona 500) and as an associate in all other Sprint Cup events.

“What’s been accomplished by Drive to End Hunger in a relatively short time is absolutely inspiring,” HMS owner Rick Hendrick said in a statement. “At the beginning, we felt the program would ultimately be judged on how many lives it impacted.

“There’s no question it’s been successful by that measure, but we still have much more to do. Our team is proud to continue the effort alongside our friends at AARP and AARP Foundation and with the incredible support of the NASCAR community.”

Since the campaign’s inception in 2011, more than 30 million meals have been donated as part of its effort to fight hunger among adults over the age of 50 and help create short and long-term solutions to older adult hunger.

Next season will mark the AARP’s fifth as a primary sponsor for Gordon and the No. 24 team.

“NASCAR fans have been such a big part of the success of Drive to End Hunger, and we’re really grateful for that,” said Gordon, who continues to sit atop the Sprint Cup championship standings going into this weekend’s Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International.

“I’ve seen them packing meals, texting donations and getting involved in their communities. AARP and AARP Foundation are incredible partners to be involved with, and I’m very happy to continue our work together. It’s been an extremely rewarding and humbling experience for me personally.”

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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