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

5 Comments

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.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.