NASCAR: Chris Buescher, Matt Kenseth lead Nationwide practices at Atlanta

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Nationwide Series rookie Chris Buescher and Sprint Cup regular Matt Kenseth topped the two NASCAR Nationwide Series practice sessions at Atlanta Motor Speedway ahead of tomorrow night’s 300-miler.

In Practice 1, Buescher (177.880 mph) and Kenseth (177.357 mph) actually went first and second on the time sheets ahead of Ty Dillon (176.313 mph) and two more Cup drivers – Kyle Busch (175.927 mph) and Joey Logano (175.743 mph). Defending race winner Kevin Harvick had the eighth-fastest lap (175.354 mph).

Then in Practice 2, Kenseth, by way of a lap of 177.738 mph, was the quickest. Dillon ran slower than he did in Practice 1, but moved up to second behind Kenseth with his lap of 176.201 mph.

Logano was third (176.173 mph), followed by Nationwide Series points leader Chase Elliott (175.755 mph) and Practice 1 leader Buescher (175.171 mph).

Each session had just one caution period, both times for debris.

Nationwide Series qualifying will take place tomorrow at 4:10 p.m. ET, followed by the Great Clips 300 benefiting Feed The Children later that night at 7:30 p.m. ET.

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Atlanta – First Practice Times

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Atlanta – Final Practice Times

Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.