IndyCar hauler goes up in flames on Florida interstate

A truck hauling a race car bound for the Firestone Grand Prix in St. Petersburg caught fire en route on Wednesday morning.

The incident happened in the early morning hours of March 11 on southbound I-275 in St. Petersburg, Florida when a truck hauling the Andretti Autosport car for driver Colton Herta caught fire on the way to the weekend Firestone Grand Prix.

First and foremost, we are glad that no one was injured, and we want to express our gratitude to our transport drivers…

Posted by Andretti Autosport on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

No injuries were reported, but the incident shut down a portion of southbound I-275 for about an hour.

Local news outlet Fox 13 reports that the Andretti Autosport team believes that the fire may have been caused by a brake problem.

The #88 car was damaged in the fire, but the Andretti Autosport team describes the damages as “minor and cosmetic.” The fire also reportedly damaged some pit equipment.

Andretti Autosport released a statement on the fire later on Wednesday morning:

First and foremost, we are glad that no one was injured, and we want to express our gratitude to our transport drivers as well as local fire departments and first responders for their quick responses and support. 

At this time, damages to the 88 car appear to be minor and cosmetic, caused by heat, smoke and/or water. We have no current reason to believe that any competition or mechanical aspects of the 88 car have been damaged or compromised. 

Our Indy Lights team is already in Florida for testing and is now in route to St. Pete to help evaluate and assess. Additionally, we are sending a team of INDYCAR crewman from Indianapolis to St. Pete today – in advance of the full team’s arrival tomorrow morning. We are also preparing backup pit equipment at the Indy race shop, this equipment and a spare transporter will depart Indianapolis today as well.