WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 pm ET – Hamlin, recap first 8 races, Richmond nuances, Virginia racing history

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As the NASCAR world returns from its Easter break, Wednesday on NASCAR AMERICA we start our in-depth focus on this Saturday’s race at Richmond International Raceway.

Remember to tune in at at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra for online or mobile device.

Leigh Diffey and Wally Dallenbach will host from our Stamford, Conn., studios.

On today’s show:

* Wally breaks down the nuances of Richmond International Raceway and what drivers and fans can expect in Saturday night’s race there.

* Kelli Stavast visits Denny Hamlin at Joe Gibbs Racing to talk about the season thus far, as well as how his past success at Richmond (2 wins, 7 top-five and 9 top-10 finishes in 15 starts there) could help turn around some of the struggles he’s had this season.

* Season review of the first eight races.

* As the NASCAR world heads to Richmond, we continue our look at racing history in the 50 states with this week’s feature focusing on Virginia, and hosted by legendary Eli Gold.

If you want 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.

Al Unser Jr. to race Pikes Peak Hill Climb for first time in 29 years

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Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is coming out of retirement to race again.

Unser Jr., who turns 56 on April 19, will compete in the 96th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24. It will be the first time Unser has raced at Pikes Peak in 29 years, since the 1989 event.

Unser won the Hill Climb and was named “King of the Mountain” in the 1983 event.

Unser said in 2007 that he was retiring from racing and had no plans to race in the future. However, he has taken part since then in some selected vintage racing events.

Speaking of vintage cars, Unser is slated to drive a 1936 Chevrolet Sedan in this year’s Hill Climb, according to race organizers.

He’ll compete with a number of luminaries including eight-time Hill Climb winner Paul Dallenbach; Layne Schranz, who will be competing in his 25th “Race to the Clouds”; 23-time champion Clint Vahsholtz; 25-time Hill Climb competitor David Schmidt II and three-time Climb winner Spencer Steele.

Unser recently returned to IndyCar racing as a consultant with Harding Racing, which is beginning its first full season in the series with Gabby Chaves behind the wheel.