TV rope cable falls and injures several race fans at Charlotte
Concord, NC (Sports Network) - Ten race fans in attendance for Sunday's 600- mile Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway were injured when a rope cable from an overhead Fox Sports television camera snapped and fell on the track and grandstand area early in the event.
Officials from the speedway said 10 spectators were injured when the nylon rope from the camera dropped over the grandstands in turn 4 during lap 121. Seven fans were treated for minor cuts and scrapes at the track's infield medical care center. Three of them had to be transported to a nearby hospital for further observation. Officials said the rope was a guide for the television network's overhead camera system.
The fallen cable also tangled around several of the cars running on the track and caused damaged to them. Kyle Busch, who was the leader at the time, sustained slight damage to the right-front panel of his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Marcos Ambrose and Mark Martin also had significant damage to their cars.
No drivers were injured. Fox race announcers repeatedly apologized for the incident over the air.
NASCAR stopped the race for 27 minutes to allow track personnel to cleanup the affected areas. As the field was parked on pit road, race officials allowed teams to work on their cars due to the very unforeseen circumstance. After the cleanup was completed, NASCAR gave teams an additional 15 minutes of red-flag time for continued repairs and then placed the field in the order it had been when the caution flag first came out.
Busch had led a total of 65 laps before he suffered engine failure during a caution period for a multi-car crash involving Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Greg Biffle on lap 258.
"I commend NASCAR for taking action and giving us all the chance to repair our damaged cars from the issue that we had earlier in the race, " Busch said in the garage area after his race had ended prematurely.
Earnhardt and Biffle made contact and hit the wall when Earnhardt apparently had engine failure as well, as smoke plumed from the rear of his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
"I just hope everybody was okay after the accident," Earnhardt said.
05/26 22:28:58 ET