Spencer Pigot. Photo: Photos @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Pigot scores pivotal Indy Lights win, takes points lead

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MONTEREY, Calif. – Spencer Pigot did exactly what he needed to do in his quest for a second consecutive championship on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, with a win in the first of two Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend.

The driver of the No. 12 Juncos Racing Dallara IL-15 Mazda took the lead on Lap 3, after polesitter Max Chilton clipped the tire barrier at corner apex at the Corkscrew.

Pigot then proceeded to lead the remainder of the 30-lap race, with local driver Kyle Kaiser posting a season-best second place to complete a Juncos 1-2.

Pigot was methodical on the day after taking the lead, and introspective heading into tomorrow’s finale.

“Luckily I knew what it felt like to hit those tires because I’ve hit them a few times! Max just turned in early. It’s easy to do there. You’re always trying to get as much apex of curb,” Pigot said. “I got around the outside in Turn 9. Had to keep my head down. Kyle was very quick and put a lot of pressure on me.

“It’s nice to not see any rear wings in front of you. There’s another one tomorrow. These races can go any way. Huge thanks to Juncos Racing. We have cars that can win the race. 1-2 for the team. Mazda, Cooper Tires. It’s a big day but hopefully tomorrow is even bigger.”

Other two title contenders Ed Jones finished third with Jack Harvey fifth, while Sean Rayhall split them in fourth and set the fastest race lap (1:16.715).

Pigot has 326 points (win plus one bonus point for leading the most laps), with prior points leader Harvey now second on 318 and Jones third on 305. RC Enerson, who was mathematically eligible, finished sixth and has been eliminated from title contention.

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).