Holy Infernos! The braintrust at Trackside Online informs us that Team Penske just suffered their worst fire since Indianapolis in 1981.
The Penske Racing transporter taking Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe's primary cars to Infineon was destroyed in a fire early this morning in Wyoming.
Apparently a wheel bearing caught fire and when the truck drivers were unable to extinguish the flames themselves, they eventually retreated and unhooked the tractor - watching the trailer and its contents burn - including the cars.
Team president Tim Cindric told Robin Miller in a SpeedTV.com story that the loss is at least a couple million dollars. The team immediately began to ship more cars to Sonoma from their North Carolina shop.
Those cars however are currently set-up for oval racing. Helio's back-up road course car had been used in testing at Sonoma last week and it is apparently still in California - where it now becomes his primary road course car.
Well, Helio wasn't going to catch Dixon anyways, was he?
UPDATE: Robin reports that Team Penske President Tim Cindric cited the lack of telephone coverage as contributing to the disaster.
"It was about 2:30 in the morning and they had no cell phone coverage but somebody finally saw it burning and eventually the fire department showed up. Obviously, it was too late to help."
Fun fact: one of the Penske stock cars is sponsored by a cellular service provider. How ironic.
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