Fox Sports Equipment Failure Delays NASCAR

At least 10 fans suffer minor injuries after cable falls on track

Fox Sports issued an on-air apology Sunday evening during its coverage of NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 race in Charlotte, N.C., after a nylon cable supporting one of the net’s cameras fell onto the track, injuring fans and damaging several cars.

The incident caused the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway to be delayed for nearly a half-hour. Fox Sports announcer Chris Myers apologized on-air to fans and drivers for the accident, which hit at lap 121 of the 400-lap NASCAR Sprint race. Ten fans suffered what were described as minor injuries; at least three were taken to nearby hospitals.

Among the cars damaged was that of the race leader at the time, Kyle Busch. No drivers were injured. Busch was able to return to the race after quick work by his pit crew (pictured above).

In a statement, Fox said it was still investigating the cause of the accident. The network will suspend use of the camera set up involved in the equipment failure. The network noted that the same system had been used in its coverage of the Daytona 500 and other recent races.

“The 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 indefinitely.”

MONDAY UPDATE: Fox Sports issued a new statement noting that all of the injured fans were treated and released on Sunday, and it offered more details on the cable in question.

“The rope is made of Dyneema, an ultra-strong synthetic that has the same approximate strength of a steel wire with the same diameter, and is less than a year old.  According to the company, it had been factory-tested by the manufacturer and its breaking strength is certified before shipment. It was also inspected by CAMCAT upon receipt last June.  The rope was certified to have a breaking strength of over 9,300 pounds. The force exerted during last night’s race was less than 900 pounds. Fox Sports is reviewing with CAMCAT equipment maintenance records, history and installation information and will share those findings with NASCAR and (Charlotte Motor Speedway),” the statement said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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