NASCAR: SVP of Competition Scott Miller Says It’s ‘Unacceptable for the Cars to Catch on Fire’

by Nick Geddes

The beginning of Kevin Harvick’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff run ended with his No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang engulfed in flames.

Fortunately, the 2014 Cup Series champion was ok after his car became the latest to catch on fire Sunday in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. After his DNF, Harvick was especially critical of NASCAR and the Next Gen car. He told NBC Sports‘ Marty Snider that the fire was likely due to “crappy-ass parts” on the racecar.

“I’m sure it’s just the crappy parts on the racecar, like we’ve seen so many times,” Harvick said. “We haven’t fixed anything. It’s kinda like the safety stuff, we just let it keep going. … 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, the fire was coming through the dash.

“What a disaster, man. No reason. We didn’t touch the wall, we didn’t touch a car and we’re in the pits with a burned-up car and can’t finish the race during the playoffs because of crappy-ass parts.”

NASCAR Responds to Kevin Harvick’s Criticism

Scott Miller, senior vice president of competition, appeared Tuesday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Miller said it would be far from the truth to insinuate that NASCAR does not care about the problem.

“To say that NASCAR didn’t care is about as far from the truth as you could get,” Miller said. “That’s really all I have to say about that. I’m not going to get into any kind of back-and-forth contest with Kevin over the airwaves. I think he actually does know we do care.”

Miller noted that the sport is taking steps to combat cars catching on fire and called it “unacceptable.”

“We’ve been working on different solutions for different things along the way that seem to maybe be the trigger,” Miller said. “Obviously, we still have work to do. We’re looking at clearances on particularly the Ford exhaust because they seem to be having more trouble with this than the others.

“There’s a lot of work going on, a lot of collaboration within the industry to get to the bottom of it. We have to get to the bottom of it quick, obviously.”