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MRTI: Cape adds Nikita Lastochkin for 2016 USF2000 season

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Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing has named the second of its now planned three drivers for the 2016 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season, with Los Angeles-based Russian Nikita Lastochkin moving to the Capes from Team Pelfrey for his second season.

Lastochkin enjoyed an impressive test with the team at the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas last month. He’ll drive the team’s No. 3 car in 2016, alongside the previously announced Parker Thompson.

“When I got the news that I would be driving for Cape Motorsports, I was extremely happy,” Lastochkin said, via the series website.

“Without a question, it is a team that has a very impressive record as champions, and it is now up to me as a driver to deliver. I’m sure that with my teammates, we will be pushing each other very hard, and I am ready to fight for every pole, every race win and eventually, the title. Having said that, I will do my best to never stop improving and learn as much as I can from the team in order to keep evolving as a driver.”

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).