NASCAR pace car catches fire during Sprint Unlimited
With a full moon shining high above Daytona International Speedway, one of the most bizarre scenes in recent memory took place.
As the field bunched up for the final 20-lap segment of the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited, smoke began billowing from one of the cars. No, not one of the race cars, it was the pace car.
Pace car driver Brett Bodine pulled off the track as the trunk of the Chevrolet SS caught fire. Luckily, safety crews were quick on the scene to extinguish the fire.
Come to find out, it was a battery pack used to power external lights that ignited the fire.
I am happy to report that the @TeamChevy pacecar had a battery pack in the trunk for the external safety lights and that is what caught fire
— Slugger Labbe (@SluggerLabbe) February 16, 2014
"When you think you’ve seen it all, and then you see that. It’s just never-ending," said runner-up Brad Keselowski. "We’ve seen wires, we’ve seen jet dryers, I don’t even know what to expect for the (Daytona) 500. It seems we always find the weirdest stuff for the 500. I just hope nobody was hurt, it didn’t look like they were, but that was an interesting one there.
"I couldn’t exactly tell what happened," he said. "I just saw the whole back half of the car was on fire. I thought it was a race car. Someone said it was the pace car and I couldn’t help but start laughing."
Third-place finisher Kyle Busch was catching up to the field when the incident occurred, so did not see it all unfold.
"I saw the aftermath where two guys were getting out of (the pace car)," he said. "It seemed like they were running for their lives, afraid of a little fire. Maybe they need firesuits now."
As expected, the NASCAR Twittersphere was quick to react.
— FOX Sports Live (@FOXSportsLive) February 16, 2014
Well I have to say I have never before heard our pace car driver radio "tower, we're on fire" wow #NASCAR
— Steve O'Donnell (@odsteve) February 16, 2014
We have seen a lot of weird fires here @DISupdates now a pace car!!!
— Martin Truex Jr. (@MartinTruex_Jr) February 16, 2014
Glad Brett and Buster are OK. That was crazy. #NASCAR
— Brett Jewkes (@BJewkes) February 16, 2014
Somewhere Henry Ford is smiling! #ouch
— David Ragan (@DavidRagan) February 16, 2014