Safety workers retrieve a support cable for an overhead TV camera that broke during the Coca-Cola 600.(Photo: Randy Sartin, USA TODAY Sports)
CONCORD, N.C. (USA TODAY) -- Ten fans were injured Sunday night when a nylon rope
from a Fox Sports overhead camera fell over the Charlotte Motor Speedway
grandstands, red-flagging the Coca-Cola 600 for nearly 30 minutes.
fans were transported to two hospitals for further evaluation, the
track said, while seven were treated for minor cuts and scrapes at an
on-site medical center and released.
See Also: Harvick wins wild and lengthy Coca-Cola 600
Two fans were taken to Carolinas Medical Center NorthEast in Concord. One fan was taken to University Medical Center.
Motor Speedway spokesman Scott Cooper said those three fans were
treated and released. He said he was unable to disclose the nature of
the fans' injuries due to privacy laws.
The rope, a guide for the
overhead camera that whizzed along the frontstretch, suddenly fell onto
the track on lap 121 of the 400-lap event.
NASCAR's vice president of competition, told USA TODAY Sports that
officials were "stunned like everyone else" when the camera's nylon rope
"We did our best," he said of dealing with the
situation. "It was important to stop the race and get it all cleaned up
properly. We'll talk to the Fox guys and see what happened, and that's
really all we know right now."
said the "very unusual set of circumstances" was what prompted NASCAR
to allow teams to stop in their pit stalls for 15 minutes and repair
damage without losing their track position.
"We felt it was best
to give the guys time to make the repairs," he said. "It wasn't their
fault. You can't always do that, but this time, we thought it would be
in the best interest of the competitors and the fans."
The camera also was used at the Daytona 500 and last week's All-Star Race at Charlotte.
It damaged several cars
- including that of race leader Kyle Busch. Teams were allowed to
repair the damage on their cars for 15 minutes before the race
Fox apologized on the air for delaying the race with its camera malfunction and later issued the following statement:
this time, we do not have a cause for the failure of the camera drive
line that interrupted tonight's Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor
Speedway, and our immediate concern is with the injured fans.
camera system consists of three ropes -- a drive rope which moves the
camera back and forth, and two guide ropes on either side. The drive
rope failed near the Turn 1 connection and fell to the track. The camera
itself did not come down because guide ropes acted as designed. A full
investigation is planned, and use of the camera is suspended
This camera system had been used
successfully at this year's Daytona 500, last week's NASCAR Sprint
All-Star Race and other major events around the world. We certainly
regret that the system failure affected tonight's event, we apologize to
the racers whose cars were damaged, and our immediate concern is for
the race fans. We also offer a sincere thank you to the staff at CMS for
attending to the injuries and keeping us informed on this developing
When we have more information on the cause of the equipment failure, we will share it with you immediately.