All things considered, it's a pretty rare sight to see a stock car catch fire during a NASCAR race, but it happens. The racing can get pretty rough, after all, and they are powered by combustion engines – some of the most rudimentary still around, at that. But the pace car? Now that's another story.

What's known in other racing disciplines as the safety car is supposed to maintain just that: safety out on the racetrack. But during the Sprint Unlimited race at Daytona this weekend, the Chevrolet SS that was put on pace-car duty burst into flames while lapping the speedway. As our compatriots at WorldCarFans point out, the fire likely started from a glitch with the additional safety equipment fitted to the car – seeing as how the flames were shooting out the trunk and not the engine compartment.

Fortunately no one was hurt as pace car driver (and former NASCAR race winner) Brett Bodine pulled the car over in the infield where he and his co-pilot escaped from the smoke-filled cabin. A second Chevy SS was apparently on standby and was pressed into service to replace its grounded wingman.

According to the Associated Press, Chevy is investigating the fire, noting the presence of an "auxiliary electrical kit" in the trunk that governs the pace car's extra lighting. It is not yet known if the equipment contributed to the fire.

Watch the footage in the video clip below to see it all go down and share your favorite relevant Talladega Nights quotes in the Comments section.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 153 Comments
      Mchicha
      • 10 Months Ago
      Turns out the auxiliary safety kit in the cars trunk, (for all the lights) is where the problem happened according to the investigation.
      Luke
      • 10 Months Ago
      Man, that's HOT! Maybe NASCAR should look into installing automatic fire suppression systems in the pace cars now.... I'm sure the blame falls with the electronics for the extra lighting (strobes, light bar), but it's still a picture of a brand new Chevy car going up in flames and that's not the greatest press.
      Robert Moore
      • 10 Months Ago
      Good thing that the drivers made it out alive. Plus I doubt that this incident will affect the sales of the SS.
        LBFTPSEC
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Robert Moore
        If anything it MAY have put more focus on the car. Maybe?
      doubletary
      • 10 Months Ago
      Well that's the last time they'll ask Snoop Dogg to drive the pace car!
      Eggmania
      • 10 Months Ago
      Get Melted
      carguy1701
      • 10 Months Ago
      Wouldn't be surprised if the aux lighting was the culprit. Still, this is the first time this has happened in any series in a while, isn't it?
        Aaron N
        • 10 Months Ago
        @carguy1701
        Well the spontaneous fire hasn't happened. But there have been many instances involving incidents with the pace car. The earliest I remember was the 1971 Indy 500, where the Dodge Challenger pace car was pulling into the pits at the green flag, but missed his braking point and the car spun out at over 120mph. I was also at the 2000 (I think) Bud Shootout (Now what the Sprint Unlimited is) where an ARCA car ended up rearending the Pontiac Grand Prix pace car during a caution for debris on the track. Then there's last year with Juan Pablo Montoya spinning out and hitting the jet dryers at the extremely bizarre 2013 Daytona 500.
          StephenT
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Aaron N
          There was also an incident at Talladega one year where some idiot jumped in the pace car and went on a joy ride.
      orchestral.whips
      • 10 Months Ago
      When can we buy the diecast commemorative "Hot Wheels Edition" SS pace car??? :-)
      wafflesnfalafel
      • 10 Months Ago
      Oops.. Lots of smoke in that cabin - looks like Mr. Bodine was smart and did the right thing.
      carmicheals
      • 10 Months Ago
      Wonder if whomever added the aftermarket upfitted equipment followed GM's electrical best practices upfit guide - or even knew such a thing existed and was publicly accessible: http://gmupfitter.com/pdf/electrical.pdf
      Unpredictable
      • 10 Months Ago
      Proof that everything man made isn't perfect.
      Pepe54
      • 10 Months Ago
      Just shows the quality of GM products.
      stevesnj
      • 10 Months Ago
      A poorly built american car....how can this be??
        Rotation
        • 10 Months Ago
        @stevesnj
        It was built in Australia.
        TopGun
        • 10 Months Ago
        @stevesnj
        An idiotic comment against an American branded car - how can this be??
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