Childress reveals details of Menard explosion
December 11, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
CONCORD, N.C. -- Team owner Richard Childress said Wednesday that a severed brake line made a bad situation worse in last month's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, causing the back of Paul Menard's No. 27 Chevrolet to explode.
Childress had previously said he would share the findings of his team's investigation with the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C.
A tire failure in the late stages of the Ford EcoBoost 400 sent Menard to the pits, but he continued on with shredded rubber wrapped around the rear gearing. After several attempts to repair the issue, the trouble area caught fire, sending Menard to a halt in the pits during the 231st of 267 laps.
Shortly thereafter, the hub, brake rotor and right-rear tire blew off the car with a loud, violent thud.
"When that wrapped around the housing, it cut the brake line in two," Childress said Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Richard Childress Racing unveiled its 2014 racing plans. "Every time he was hitting the brakes, it was pumping fire back there. It was just like holding a torch on the tire, and that's what blew it off."
No one was injured, but the car was severely damaged. The impact raised the hood and blew a hole in the floorboard of Menard's car.