The Hendrick Motorsports team hauler carrying the No. 24 car driven by William Byron caught fire upon its arrival at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday, damaging the hauler but leaving Byron’s primary car relatively unscathed.
According to the team, the fire broke out in the hauler’s generator. According to Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports, Byron’s hauler had been parked across the street from the racetrack when its crew noticed the fire as they were washing the hauler. The crew was able to start addressing the fire before firefighters arrived, and no one was inside the hauler when the fire broke out.
Byron’s primary car for this weekend was covered in soot, but was otherwise undamaged in the fire. The team’s equipment was also not damaged, and a backup hauler has been dispatched from Hendrick Motorsports’ race shop in Concord, N.C. to Indianapolis.
“A huge thank you to everyone who helped out with the 24 hauler today including the track, NASCAR, the local fire department and other team hauler drivers,” Byron said in a statement posted to Twitter. “Everyone jumped in and helped our team out today and that support means a lot to all of us on the 24 team.”
NASCAR’s weekend schedule called for haulers to enter the track beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, with the garage opening and inspection beginning at 12:30. Due to the fire, NASCAR permitted the No. 24 team to unload their hauler and put it in the garage area overnight.
Thankfully, Byron’s race team will have plenty of time to work on their primary car before having to send it out and let it run. Cup Series cars first hit the track on Saturday for practice and qualifying at 9:30 a.m.