10 fans hurt along with several NASCAR Sprint Cup cars damaged on track.
A full moon in the air usually means that strange and crazy things can happen during the race event. Today was no different than expected. In fact in F1, the Indy 500 and at today’s Coca Cola 600 we were spectators to unusual crashes and door banging style battles for the lead.
At Charlotte Motor Speedway the full moon effect struck on lap 121 as the FOX’s overhead cable camera’s drive cable (A nylon pull rope) snapped over the turn four track breaking over the head of fans and coming apart, hitting ten fans sending the fans to the care center at the speedway.
After a short period of time seven of the ten fans were released with the remaining three fans being sent for follow up at a local Charlotte Hospital. Word from Charlotte Motor Speedway is that none of the fans suffered any major injuries. Most of the fans had received cuts and bruises.
On the track the cable had hooked onto the catch fence, dangling onto the track where Kyle Busch’s car hooked into the cable pulling a long section onto the track. The cable ripped into the #18 Toyota’s right front quarter panel sending the cable into cars following Busch.
The cable bounced off of the rear deck lid of Mark Martin’s car throwing the cable into Marcos Ambrose’s car where it sucked under the car, snapping the break line of Ambrose’s car. The cable then wrapped itself around the rear end’s drive shaft.
Debris also hit Jamie McMurray’s car with possible damage to Clint Bowyer’s car as well.
The cable stretched from end to end of the track which left several 30 to 40 foot sections on the track and hundreds of feet strewn through the infield.
NASCAR red flagged the race for about forty minutes to position the camera in a safe location and retrieve the cabling on the track. The cable was cut away from the cable cam to where it dangled thirty feet from the unit above the track.
NASCAR also allowed the teams that were damaged from the cable to repair the cars during the red flag. Most of the drivers interviewed were positive that NASCAR made the correct call.
In a release from FOX Sports,
“At this time, we do not have a cause for the failure of the camera drive line that interrupted tonight’s Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and our immediate concern is with the injured fans. 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.
This camera system had been used successfully at this year’s Daytona 500, last week’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and other major events around the world. We certainly regret that the system failure affected tonight’s event, we apologize to the racers whose cars were damaged, and our immediate concern is for the race fans. We also offer a sincere ‘thank you’ to the staff at CMS for attending to the injuries and keeping us informed on this developing situation. When we have more information on the cause of the equipment failure, we will share it with you immediately.”