WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 pm ET: Remembering Lynda Petty and ‘Bubba’ Wallace returns to Martinsville

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The human side of NASCAR racing will be front and center on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN:

* One of the features on today’s show will be a touching profile on Lynda Petty, the matriarch of the Petty family, who passed away after a long illness this past Tuesday.

“Miss Lynda”, as she was affectionately called, was the Queen to The King of NASCAR, Richard Petty, married more than 55 years and raised four children together.

But she was more than just a driver’s wife. Although she liked to stay behind the scenes, Lynda Petty was actually one of the most influential women in the sport over the last half-century.

Kelli Stavast will report from the Petty family compound in Level Cross, N.C.

* We’ll also feature Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., who returns to Martinsville Speedway this weekend for the first time since his historic Camping World Trucks Series win there last fall. Can he make it two in a row?

By taking the checkered flag at the little half-mile bullring in southern Virginia, Wallace became only the second African-American driver to ever win a NASCAR race, and the first in nearly 50 years since Wendell Scott did so back in 1964.

Wallace is more than just an up-and-coming driver. He’s also one of the keys to NASCAR’s ongoing expansion of its diversity initiative.

* Lastly, Marty Snyder reports from Joe Gibbs Racing’s headquarters with an update on driver Denny Hamlin, who missed this past Sunday’s race at Fontana but has been cleared to race this Sunday at Martinsville.

In case you wish to watch today’s show online, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you plug those pieces of information in, you’ll have access to the stream.

Again, CLICK HERE at 5 p.m. ET to watch NBCSN’s NASCAR AMERICA.

MRTI: pre-season testing Day 3 notebook

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Day 3 of pre-season testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway saw the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda continue testing for the second day in a row, with each series completing three sessions on what was their final day of running.

Quick reports on both series are below.

Pro Mazda: Cunha Surges to the Front

While Saturday saw Pro Mazda newcomers like Oliver Askew, Parker Thompson, and Rinus VeeKey lead the way, Sunday saw a pair of second-year Pro Mazda drivers take their turns at the top of the speed charts. In the combined results, Juncos Racing’s Carlos Cunha turned the fastest lap of the final session, also good enough to be the outright fastest lap of the weekend, taking advantage of a fresh set of Cooper Tires to do so.

“I’m really happy, Juncos Racing is an amazing team,” Cunha said of the team’s performance. “On track, we are always improving, never going backwards and that’s very good. We have tested a lot but we still need to learn a lot about the car, though we are almost to a perfect setup. The team has given me everything I need to be comfortable inside the car, to know what the car needs, and to know what I need to be a better driver. We have time to improve and we are moving forward quickly.”

Fellow sophomore driver Sting Ray Robb, now with Team Pelfrey, was right behind Cunha in second.

Combined results across both Saturday and Sunday can be found here.

USF2000: Kirkwood, Cape Motorsports Stay On Top of Deep USF2000 Field

New Cape Motorsports driver Kyle Kirkwood, who topped Session 2 on Saturday, stayed on top of the combined speed charts across the weekend on the strength of his best lap from Session 3 of the weekend on Saturday.

Pabst Racing’s Rasmus Lindh was right behind Kirkwood, on the strength of his quick lap from Session 1.

However, Sunday’s running saw a different driver assert his authority, with Kaylen Frederick, Lindh’s teammate at Pabst, turning the fastest lap during the final session.

Frederick ended up fourth in the combined results, which can be viewed here.

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires will take to the Homestead-Miami road course on Monday for the final day of testing for the Mazda Road to Indy.

Follow@KyleMLavigne