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Paul Menard's car catches fire, tire explodes

November 17, 2013, Staff report,

Incident occurs late in finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway

RELATED: Full Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage

Following an on-track incident that saw sparks shoot out of Paul Menard’s No. 27 Chevrolet, things got even hotter once the Richard Childress Racing driver went to pit road.

As flames danced out from under his car, a rear tire blew off, resulting in a defeaning boom and plenty of smoke. It was a scary moment in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The driver's trouble began on a restart on Lap 194. When the outside line stalled, Menard rammed 2013 Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and Menard was also hit from behind and suffered damage to the rear of his No. 27 Chevrolet.

"On that restart, everybody kind of checked up, and we got some right rear damage and had a flat tire," Menard said afterwards. "I guess a bunch of rubber got wrapped up underneath around the axle. Came in a couple of times trying to fix the damage and try to get the rubber off. We didn't get it all, and I guess it just caught fire.

"I didn't really know it until there was a little bit of a spark coming in the car and landed on the window net; thought that was kind of weird. About a lap later they said I was on fire; I lost my brakes, then the damn wheel blew right off."

Menard was out of the race following the incident. He finished in 39th place, completing 229 laps.


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