Scott Dixon leads practice 3 at St. Petersburg

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Lap times continued to drop during the third practice for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Eight drivers were below the 1:01 mark, demolishing Friday’s fastest lap of 1:02.559, turned in by Scott Dixon.

Dixon’s No. 9 GE LED Lighting Honda again paced the field in third practice, turning a fast lap of 1:01.624. Fellow Honda driver James Hinchcliffe was second with a lap of 1:01.666. He was also the first driver to actually break the 1:01 barrier. Alexander Rossi, Max Chilton, Sebastien Bourdais, and Marco Andretti made it a top six sweep for Honda, with Josef Newgarden’s No. 2 Verizon entry for Team Penske the fastest Chevrolet. In fact, Hondas held eight of the top ten spots, with Will Power’s No. 12 Verizon machine the only other Chevrolet in the top ten. He ended the session in tenth.

The session ran without any stoppages, the only incident being a minor off for Simon Pagenaud, who overshot the entry to turn 10 about 30 minutes into practice. However, he quickly spun it back around and re-entered the course without issue and ended the session 11th quickest.

Results are below. Qualifying begins at 2:55 p.m. ET local time.


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.