‘All hands on deck’ as NASCAR works with OEMs, teams to identify fire solutions

NASCAR is continuing to investigate the cause of — and solution for — a fire under the hood of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford in Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “it’s all hands on deck” as NASCAR works with Cup Series teams and manufacturers to diagnose the mechanical failure and ensure it won’t be an issue in the maiden NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs for the Next Gen car that debuted this season.

“We’re certainly digging into the cause,” Miller said Tuesday morning. “We have cars down (at NASCAR’s R&D Center) this morning looking for any signs of anything that may have triggered that. And you know, we have done so all year. I mean, there’s a lot of rubber at Darlington, the ‘cheese grater’ that we always talk about, so we’re not certain if rubber getting into the rocker box was the problem or not, but we’re debriefing it all.

” … It’s unacceptable for the cars to catch on fire and we’ve been working on different solutions for different problems, different things along the way that seem to maybe be the trigger and obviously we still have work to do.”

With 92 laps remaining in NASCAR’s playoff opener at the South Carolina track, Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Ford Mustang caught fire while running eighth, forcing the 2014 champion to make a quick exit after pulling off the race track. He was officially scored 33rd following the race, dropping him below the playoff cutline with two races remaining in the opening Round of 16.

WATCH: Harvick’s car catches fire late

“They haven’t fixed anything. … We just let it keep going and keep going,” Harvick said after exiting the race.” The car started burning and as it burned the flames started coming through the dash. I ran a couple laps and then as the flame got bigger it started burning stuff up and I think right there you see all the brake fluid that was probably coming out the brakes and part of the brake line, but the fire was coming through the dash. What a disaster for no reason.”

Harvick’s Ford is the latest blue oval to catch fire, with recent incidents seeing Chris Buescher’s RFK Racing No. 17 (Indianapolis Road Course), Joey Logano’s Team Penske No. 22 (Indy) and Chase Briscoe’s SHR No. 14 (Richmond) among the machines to also ignite in race conditions in recent months.

“We’re looking at clearances on particularly the Ford exhaust because they seem to have been having a little bit more trouble with this than the others,” Miller said. “So there’s just there’s a lot of work going on, a lot of collaboration within the industry to get to the bottom of it, and we have to get to the bottom of it quick obviously. It’s all hands on deck with the teams and the OEMs.”