Chevrolet says battery pack may have caused pace car fire at Daytona –

Posted: Monday, February 17, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Chevrolet officials are still trying to figure out how the trunk of its Chevrolet SS pace car caught on fire Saturday night during the Sprint Unlimited.

The pace car caught fire prior to the final segment of the 75-lap event. The two NASCSAR officials in the car were able to exit the car unharmed, including pace car driver and former Cup driver Brett Bodine.

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A battery back in the trunk is a possible cause.

“The pace car experienced a fire in the trunk area, which contains a purpose-built auxiliary electrical kit to operate the numerous caution lights during the race,” Chevrolet said in a statement. “The pace car driver and passenger safely exited the vehicle. An assessment is underway.”

NASCAR always has at least two pace cars, and another Chevrolet SS was used for the remainder of the event.

While it was a humorous and bizarre incident, the topic is a sensitive one as car companies negotiate significant sponsorship deals to have their cars pace the field at NASCAR races.

It also is important for NASCAR to know what happened because, in addition to being dangerous for the officials inside the car, it also could limit the number of green-flag laps in the race. The situation Saturday night did not cost the race any laps because it was between segments of an exhibition event with special rules.

Chevrolet is scheduled to unveil its 2014 Daytona 500 pace car Thursday afternoon.


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