Fox still uncertain why TV cable broke at Coca-Cola 600

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CONCORD, N.C. — Fox Sports said Monday it still had not determined why an overhead TV camera cable snapped during the Coca-Cola 600.

The network says a full investigation is underway and that use of the camera is suspended indefinitely. Earlier, NASCAR said it would wait for Fox Sports to conclude its review before deciding whether such technology would be used in the future.

Charlotte Motor Speedway said 10 people were injured when part of the drive rope landed in the grandstand; three were taken to hospitals. All were checked out and released soon after.

Fox said it was “relieved and thankful” to know the injuries were minor and again apologized for the disruption.

Several drivers, including then-leader Kyle Busch, reported damage to their cars from the rope.

NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Monday that there were no plans to use the system at upcoming races, “so we’ll have ample time to review.”

The network said the system was provided by Austrian company CAMCAT. The rope that failed was certified for a breaking strength of 9,300 pounds and was bearing less than 900 pounds of force during the race, according to Fox Sports. The network said it’s reviewing CAMCAT equipment maintenance records, history and installation information and plans to share its findings with NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The network said the system was used successfully at the Daytona 500 and was set up and working at last week’s Sprint All-Star race in Charlotte.

The network explained how the drive rope moves the camera back and forth and failed near its turn one connection. The camera, it said, did not come down “because the guide ropes acted as designed.”

Busch used a cellphone to take a picture of the mangled metal around a wheel so his team could figure out how to repair the damage. Marcos Ambrose dragged a piece of the rope that got caught up in his car behind him on the track. Mark Martin also reported problems after driving over the rope.

NASCAR red-flagged the race for about 30 minutes and allowed teams back to their pits to get their cars back to race trim. Busch thanked NASCAR for how it handled the unique stoppage.

“I commend NASCAR for taking the initiative and letting us repair our damaged cars from the issue we had,” he said.

Busch said he never saw the nylon rope.

Ambrose wound up 10th behind Harvick, the second top-10 finish of the year for the Richard Petty Motorsports team.

Kasey Kahne led 156 laps, most of the night, and was second to Harvick. He was as bewildered as everyone else with the TV cable across the track.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “I came around turn four, saw it wrapped around Kyle’s car, hit mine. I thought I was seeing things.”

The camera hung in place over the large painted logo on the grass between the start-finish line and pit road.

Fox broadcaster Chris Myers apologized during the telecast several times to fans, drivers and race teams for the disruption. The network’s statement offered “a sincere ‘thank you’ to the staff at CMS for attending to the injuries and keep us informed on this developing situation.”

Busch wasn’t sure anybody had seen that happen before and offered a solution: “Maybe now we can get rid of that thing.”

SPRINT CUP STANDINGS

1. Jimmie Johnson 445

2. Carl Edwards 413

3. Matt Kenseth 394

4. Clint Bowyer 385

5. Kasey Kahne 370

6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 364

7. Kevin Harvick 362

8. Paul Menard 347

9. Martin Truex Jr. 336

10. Brad Keselowski 335

11. Kyle Busch 332

12. Aric Almirola 328

NEXT RACE

WHAT: FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks

TIME/TV: 1 p.m. Sunday/ Fox-Ch. 54

WHERE: Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.

2012 WINNER: Jimmie Johnson


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