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DATE News (chronologically)
02/04/11
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Joe Gibbs Racing's engine department damaged in explosion  An explosion early Friday rocked the headquarters of Joe Gibbs Racing, causing significant damage to JGR's engine department. There were no injuries reported. According to a team spokesperson, around 9 a.m. members of the engine department were running a routine test on one of the Gibbs team's two engine dynamometers. Dynamometers are machines used to run an engine through its paces to measure power and performance under the strain of race conditions.

A source within Gibbs' team says that it was during this test session that one of the engines exploded, resulting in a fire that significantly damaged the dynamometer on which is was mounted and caused at least some damage to a second dynamometer located in an adjacent room.

The JGR spokesperson confirmed that the fire was short-lived and was contained within the two-room area of the engine dyno department, which is part of the team's 235,000-square-foot facility. The main shop floor and second-floor offices continued business as usual shortly after the initial fire alarm sounded.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear.

Roughly an hour after the explosion, team members received clearance from firefighters to re-enter the shop to assess the damage. The JGR spokesperson described most of the damage as being caused by smoke and water from the brief firefighting effort.

The engine that exploded was not in the team's plans for Daytona Speedweeks, which begin next Friday, but the engine mounted on the second damaged dynamometer was. The initial concern for the second engine wasn't fire damage, but rather water damage. ESPN

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