Extra pace car behind jet-dryer trucks

Updated: March 4, 2012, 2:31 PM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- NASCAR officials announced a change to have an extra pace car with flashing lights behind the last jet-dryer truck on the track in all races in all three series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide and the Camping World Trucks Series.

The change, which was explained to the Sprint Cup teams during the drivers' meeting Sunday morning at Phoenix International Raceway, comes after Juan Pablo Montoya's car spun into a jet-dryer truck during a caution period in the Daytona 500 Monday night.

The collision caused an enormous fireball explosion on the backstretch from the kerosene fuel tank on the jet dryer. Both vehicles were severely damaged by the fire, but both drivers escaped without serious injuries.

The drivers of the jet-dryer trucks also will wear helmets and fire suits during each race, but that is a change agreed upon by officials at race tracks that play host to NASCAR events, not a rule instituted by NASCAR.

Terry Blount is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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