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Pagenaud tops IndyCar practice 3 in Sonoma

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Team Penske’s strong form was again on display in Practice 3 for Sunday’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (6:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN), this time with Simon Pagenaud taking a turn at the top of the time charts.

Pagenaud’s best lap of 1:16.0329 bettered Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon’s lap of 1:16.1454 by just over one tenth of a second. Penske’s remaining trio of Will Power (third), Josef Newgarden (fourth), and Helio Castroneves (fifth) made it four Penske cars in the top five.

Practice 3 ran without stoppages, though a pair of drivers did have quick spins during the 45-minute session. Dale Coyne Racing’s Ed Jones looped his No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda in Turn 9, but quickly regrouped and continued on.

Near the end of the session, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe spun in Turn 2 and briefly stalled, but managed to get the car refired and completed the practice. Jones and Hinchcliffe ended up 15th and 16th respectively.

Times are below. Qualifying begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

 

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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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