NNS: JR Motorsports adding Super Late Model driver Austin Theriault for 3 races

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JR Motorsports already has one young gun on its Nationwide Series team with 18-year-old Chase Elliott. Later this season, it will add another.

Austin Theriault, 20, who raced for Brad Keselowski’s Super Late Model team in the past two seasons, will drive JRM’s No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro in three Nationwide events at Iowa Speedway (May 18), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 12), and Kentucky Speedway (Sept. 20).

A product of the vibrant New England racing scene, Theriault earned three Pro All Stars Series victories last year. He has also spent time in the American-Canadian Tour and the NASCAR K&N Pro East Series.

“Our company is known for putting young talent in cars and giving them a shot on one of NASCAR’s biggest stages, and that is what we are giving Austin with this three-race opportunity,” said JRM general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller in a statement.

“This keeps our No. 5 car on the track, and it gives Austin the chance to show what he’s got with a lot more eyeballs taking notice.”

Eyewear brand SPY will sponsor Theriault for the Iowa race as an extension of its partnership with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s “Dirty Mo Radio” podcasts.

“I am excited to be continuing my professional development with JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series,” Theriault said in his own thoughts. “I have been working hard for this opportunity, and to be associated with JR Motorsports and SPY is a dream come true.”

The part-time No. 5 has been driven primarily by Kevin Harvick this year in Nationwide, and currently sits fourth in the series’ owner’s standings.

Conor Daly honors friend killed Saturday amid Indianapolis unrest

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IndyCar driver Conor Daly posted a poignant tribute to Chris Beaty, a former Indiana University football player and Indianapolis business owner who was killed Saturday amid protests and rioting in the city.

Daly said he got to know Beaty, who owned an event and marketing promotions company, five years ago when he was organizing Indianapolis 500 afterparties.

Daly annually had been involved in Beaty’s parties since then and said Beaty helped get him home earlier this year when Daly’s blood sugar crashed while at an event.

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“The world lost a tremendous person. RIP Chris Beaty,” wrote Daly, who also tweeted “The violence has to stop.”

According to the Indianapolis Star, Beaty died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds during Saturday night’s unrest in downtown Indianapolis. It’s unclear if the shooting was tied to the protests.

Graham Rahal also posted about his interaction with Beaty.

Daly, Rahal and the rest of the IndyCar Series will return to action Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway (8 p.m. ET, NBC).