- Track safety is once again being called into question as an investigation continues into a falling TV cable that injured 10 race fans during the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday.
- The Coca-Cola 600 race was delayed after a cable controlling an overhead camera came loose and draped down onto the track.
- At least 28 fans were injured in February during a crash at a Nationwide race at Daytona.
CONCORD, North Carolina — Track safety is once again being called into question as an investigation continues into a falling TV cable that injured 10 race fans during the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday.
A cable used to maneuver a Fox Sports overhead television camera came loose during Sunday evening's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, damaging at least two racecars, causing a red-flag delay in the race and resulting in injuries to 10 spectators.
The usual hazard to fans is from debris from a racing crash. At least 28 fans were injured in February during a crash at a Nationwide race at Daytona. This time the threat came from equipment being used by the media covering the event.
This latest incident is bound to highlight the need to protect spectators at races, even as track officials around the country pay increasing attention to security matters in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. The 2013 Indianapolis 500 saw unprecedented security steps, as track officials checked spectators' coolers and bags, causing long lines into the Brickyard.
Fox issued a statement explaining that the drive rope failed in the Turn 1 end of the camera's track during Sunday's race. Use of the camera has been suspended while the incident is investigated, the statement said.
The rope draped down onto the front straightaway of the track on the 121st lap of the 400-lap, 600-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race. The Toyota Camry of race leader Kyle Busch snagged the rope, causing damage to the right front fender of the car.
Other cars following Busch at speeds greater than 190 mph also made contact with the rope, which became entangled in the rear axle of the Ford Fusion driven by Marcos Ambrose. The rope disabled a brake line and trailed behind Ambrose's car as he slowed and the race was halted.
The overhead camera did not come loose from its guides, which stretch over the front straightaway of the 1.5-mile track and enable novel shots of the racing action.
The camera is similar to those now commonplace in television coverage of football games. During the interruption, NASCAR permitted crews to make repairs to damage caused by the rope and restarted the race with the cars running in their previous running order.
Kevin Harvick won the race.
Edmunds says: The need to protect spectators at races is becoming a mounting concern.