The Emergency Alert System was activated just as the race was beginning with a warning for bad weather in Burke County.
That alert blacked out the TV picture and sound for Comcast cable customers just seconds after the race began. When the programming returned minutes later, the race was over, and TV announcers were describing its exciting finish.
A Comcast customer service representative said Saturday by phone that the alert "is something put into place by Richmond and Columbia counties." They have no control over it. "It's supplied directly from Public Safety and Homeland Security."
Other cable customers in the area did not report a weather alert disruption.