(Photo courtesy Monster Energy official Twitter page)

Kurt Busch turns hot laps in F1-like ride at Abu Dhabi before heading to Sonoma

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At the rate he’s going, it won’t be long before Kurt Busch runs out of things to check off his bucket list. He certainly checked off quite a few this past week.

During the Sprint Cup off-weekend, Busch visited Lithuania, and then traveled to take in the European Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan.

While there, he had the opportunity to sit in a Haas F1 Team race car. Team owner Gene Haas, who also owns the team Busch drives for in NASCAR, has promised Busch he’ll get a chance to one day drive an F1 car provided one thing: he wins the Sprint Cup championship again.

For now, just sitting in the car was a thrill in-and-of itself.

MORE: Kurt Busch gets acquainted with Haas F1 car in Baku

And then on Tuesday, while heading back to the United States for this weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway, Busch took a detour to climb behind the wheel of a GP2 style car – similar, but smaller and less powerful compared to an F1 car – and ran a number of hot laps at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The predecessor to GP2 was the Formula 3000 series, which ran until 2004.

The track, which is the site of the season-ending F1 race, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Nov. 27, refers to the driving experience as Formula Yas 3000. Here’s a video of what Busch went through on Tuesday.

Here’s a number of tweets Busch posted during his excellent overseas adventure:

The Abu Dhabi experience came just after his run in Baku, more tweets of which you can see below.

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IndyCar will eliminate double points from the 2020 season finale

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Though the NTT IndyCar Series hasn’t confirmed the date of its 2020 season finale, it has determined that double points won’t be in play.

An IndyCar official confirmed Monday to NBCSports.com that whether the season ends at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, or on the streets of St. Petersburg, neither race will feature double points. Team owners were informed of the change during a conference call last week.

The news was first reported by RACER.com.

With the original 17-race schedule having been shortened by the cancellation of at least three races (Circuit of The Americas, Barber Motorsports Park, the Long Beach Grand Prix), using double points in the finale would have carried even greater weight (and perhaps more so if more races are unable to be run because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has been using double points at select races since the 2015 season. The 104th Indianapolis 500 will remain a double-points event.

In rescheduling the Indy 500 to Aug. 23 last week, IndyCar unveiled a revised schedule that listed Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as TBD for its season finale. The race originally had been scheduled to open the season before being called off because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

IndyCar CEO Mark Miles told reporters last week that St. Pete probably would be slotted into the first two weeks October after the Sept. 20 race at Laguna Seca that had been slated to be the season finale for the second consecutive year.