Report: Probe into NASCAR pace car fire focusing in on auxiliary electrical kit

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The investigation continues into the cause of a pace car fire in Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.

According The Associated Press on Tuesday, while they have not drawn a direct link just yet, Chevrolet officials and others probing the blaze are focusing in on an auxiliary electrical kit in the trunk of the Chevrolet SS pace car as the potential source.

The kit, not standard on conventional SS’s, was installed for the race to control a variety of components, most notably the numerous caution lights in the car. At least one earlier media report indicated that some type of battery pack had caused the blaze, but that has not been substantiated.

Pace car driver and former NASCAR driver Brett Bodine and a passenger quickly exited the car when smoke began filling the interior. Neither individual was hurt in the mishap.

A second pace car was brought onto the race track to replace the damaged car, which suffered fire damage to the trunk and smoke damage to the interior.

The final 20 laps of the Sprint Unlimited then played out after the burned up car was towed into the DIS infield, with Denny Hamlin performing — ironically enough — a celebratory burnout.

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Toro Rosso boss hopes to see Kvyat return to Formula 1

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Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost hopes to see sacked driver Daniil Kvyat return to Formula 1 in the near future, saying the Russian “deserves” a place on the grid.

Toro Rosso dropped Kvyat twice through the 2017 season due to poor form, with his final dismissal coming after the United States Grand Prix in October.

Kvyat is no longer part of Red Bull’s motorsport program and is exploring options both inside and outside of F1 for 2018, and Tost feels he could be energized by some time away before returning.

“I am still convinced that Daniil has a very high natural speed. He was sometimes even faster than Daniel Riccardo, but somehow last year and this year he couldn’t show the potential that is within him,” Tost told the official F1 website.

“He was involved in many incidents, but in his defence I also have to say that he had many reliability issues and that didn’t help build up confidence. Being the victim of too many incidents killed the performance he would have been able to show.

“Maybe a short break – to get organized again – and probably we will see Daniil back at his usual performance level with another team.

“Sometimes he was too aggressive at the beginning of the race. The first corner was his weak point. He wanted too much in the first hundred meters – success by any means!

“That puts you under pressure – unnecessary pressure – and that never works.

“I hope for him that he gets another chance, as I think he deserves to be in F1.”