Pace Car Fire: Full Moon or What?

By: Pam Wright - February 17, 2014

This isn’t the first time something wacky has happened at the Daytona International Speedway.

Saturday night, the pace car caught fire during the exhibition Sprint Unlimited Race at the home of the Daytona 500.

No injuries were reported, but there must be some serious voodoo going on at the track.

The fire in the pace car, driven by Brett Bodine, started near the end of the second segment of the Sprint Unlimited race. Flames and billowing smoke were seen coming from the rear of the car as it sat on the apron.

“Tower, we’re on fire,” he radioed.

”I just saw the whole back of the car was on fire. I thought it was a race car,” said 2012 Cup champion Brad Keselowski. ”Someone said it was the pace car. I just couldn’t help but start laughing.”

A statement released by Chevrolet Sunday morning said the fire came from the trunk where “a purpose-built auxiliary electrical kit to operate the numerous caution lights during the race.”

“The pace car driver and passenger safely exited the vehicle,” the statement said. “An assessment is underway.”

“I thought it was tire smoke until I saw flames,” said Denny Hamlin, the eventual winner of the race. “And then I realized Brett was on a mission to find the emergency vehicle.”

Chevrolet said Sunday it was assessing the fire in the trunk and has yet to link the fire with the electrical kit.

There was some twitter ribbing going on after the incident.


Other odd mishaps at the track include a 2-hour delay in the 2010 Daytona 500 because of a pothole in the track and another 2-hour delay in 2012 when Juan Pablo Montoya ran into a jet dryer causing a blazing fire.

And few can forget last year’s mishap when a crash in the last lap of the Nationwide Series injured at least 30 spectators and destroyed a part of the huge barrier between the track and the stands.

Image via YouTube

Pam Wright

About the Author

Pam WrightPam Wright is a multimedia journalist for a Kentucky newspaper and WebProNews contract writer. She is Mom to five and Grams to two (and a half). She loves God, her family, photography, traveling, singing, running and scuba diving. Follow Pam on Twitter @pamwrightAMNews and on Facebook @pam.wright.90281943 and at

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  • frankmalvern

    That’s what you get when you purchase a car from obama motors, better know as GM (Government Motors).