Having earlier this week expressed its confidence at chasing a solid result at Infineon Raceway, Team Penske will have to overcome a major setback to keep Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe on track.
Travelling to California for the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County, the squad suffered a fire on Interstae 80 in Wyoming that destroyed a trailer carrying the two drivers' primary race cars.
While neither of the truck's two drivers was injured in the incident, the team also lost a lot of equipement to the fire, which broke out in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
"About 0430 Eastern, we had a fire that we think started from a wheel bearing about halfway between Cheyenne and Salt Lake City," Penske Performance Inc president Tim Cindric told indycar.com
, "It's a pretty barren area without cell phone coverage. The guys tried to put out the fire, but couldn't do it so they unhooked the tractor from the trailer."
"We have a destroyed trailer with a lot of burnt contents - we've deemed from pictures that the contents aren't worth taking to California. We'll stop in Wyoming and drop off four of our employees to sift through the contents and we'll pick up the two truck drivers and take them to Sonoma with us."
Cindric confirmed that Penske had dispatched the its test team transporter just after noon with two cars that had been prepared for the season finale at Chicagoland.
"Basically, they'll be parts cars for the weekend and we'll take the two cars that are already there and make them into race cars," Cindric said, referring to the cars already at Infineon following last week's group test.
"We're certainly not going to have everything that we're used to - even the uniforms for the team were in that truck, so we're bringing all the uniforms we do have.
"Pit equipment is all kind of second-hand or non-existent, but we'll make the most of it. There shouldn't be too much that we do without, other than race cars that are prepared in the right way, but we'll do that at the racetrack."