Kurt Busch will test an IndyCar for Andretti Autosport, two days before opening practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Whether the test is a mere PR one-off or a sign of things to come – AJ Allmendinger has added IndyCar back to his plate this year after a seven-year hiatus – remains to be seen.
Busch was invited to test Ryan Hunter-Reay’s No. 1 DHL/Sun Drop Chevrolet, and may potentially have interest in doing the Memorial Day double of the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte down the road.
“I have always enjoyed racing at Indianapolis, and when IMS and Michael presented me with the opportunity to test an Indy car prior to opening day of practice of the Indianapolis 500, I jumped at it,” Busch said in a statement. “The Indianapolis 500 is an iconic event and having an opportunity to go through the testing process with Michael and Andretti Autosport, the defending series champions and two-time winners of the race, is pretty cool.”
Busch’s NASCAR career has taken a hit in the last couple years, after losing his ride at Penske Racing and driving first for Phoenix Racing and now Furniture Row Racing on the Sprint Cup side of things.
But he is versatile, having also driven an NHRA Pro Stock car and also tested a Champ Car for Bobby Rahal’s team in 2003.
Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.