Christopher Bell was fastest in the first practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway Friday (Feb. 23) ahead of Saturday’s (Feb. 24) Rinnai 250, but it was John Hunter Nemechek, making his series debut, who turned heads by leading practice two later in the day.
Bell’s No. 20 Rheem Toyota Camry was fast right out of the gate, posting the fastest lap early in the session and successfully defending the time during the entire session.
Bell, who won the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta, posted a fast lap of 178.447 mph (31.068 sec). He was the lone Toyota in the top five.
30 of the entered 42 drivers entered for the race turned at least one lap during the session.
Meanwhile, Nemechek turned a 31.056-second lap (178.516 mph) around the Atlanta Motor Speedway to pace the second practice, leading Bell, who concluded the practice second.
All 42 drivers took at least one lap during the session, and Nemechek turned the most laps of the session at 49.
Qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series will begin at 9:10 a.m. ET Saturday and will be shown live on FOX Sports 1, followed by the race at 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1.