Sebastien Bourdais spent a day in early November helping IndyCar iron out the wrinkles on its newest safety innovation. He'd been chosen to test the new windscreen cockpit protection because of his experience, his ability to offer technical feedback and his methodical approach in a race car.
In his den overlooking the 14th hole at Quail Hollow, there are a handful of reminders of Felix Sabates' 30 years in NASCAR — a photo of the team owner at one of his first races; a bobblehead of close friend and rival Rick Hendrick; in the corner, a replica of the Monster Trophy won by Kyle Larson in October at Dover.
Kyle Busch toted his championship trophy all over Nashville for photo opportunities. He opened his celebratory week with an appearance on WWE's “Raw," then joined industry heavyweights for a NASCAR-themed night at the Grand Ole Opry.
Jimmie Johnson handed out mini bottles of Patron at his retirement announcement — so perfectly on brand for the cool Californian who stormed to a record-tying seven NASCAR championships yet somehow bored fans who found him too vanilla for their liking.