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NASCAR waits on Fox review for camera decision
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - NASCAR will wait on Fox Sports’ investigation of what caused an overhead TV camera rope to snap during the Coca-Cola 600 before deciding if such technology will be used in future races.
NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp told The Associated Press on Monday that there were no plans to use the system at upcoming races “so we’ll have ample time to review.”
Fox indefinitely suspended use of the system after the nylon rope fell onto the track about a quarter of the way through Sunday’s 600-mile race. Charlotte Motor Speedway said 10 people were injured when part of the rope landed in the grandstand; three were taken to hospitals. All were checked out and released soon after.
Several drivers, including then-leader Kyle Busch, reported damage to their cars from the rope.
Fox’s final NASCAR telecast this year comes Sunday at Dover International Speedway.
Tharp said NASCAR would let the network determine what went wrong.
“We’ll sync up with them on what they have learned this week and go from there,” he said.
The network explained how the drive rope moves the camera back and forth and failed near its turn one connection. The camera, it said in a statement, did not come down “because the guide ropes acted as designed.”
The pictures such cameras provide can be extraordinary. But in this case, the failure brought confusion and chaos to the racers and the fans.
Coca-Cola 600 winner Kevin Harvick thought he was imagining things when he noticed the black rope on the track. He was among the lucky ones who escaped without damage. Busch said he heard a “thunk” when he ran over it and knew he’d have problems.
Busch used a cellphone to take a picture of the mangled metal around his front, right-side wheel so his team could figure out how to repair the damage.
NASCAR red-flagged the race for about 30 minutes and allowed teams back to their pits to get their cars back to race trim.
NASCAR first threw a caution flag before two red flags came out. It eventually allowed the cars to come into the pits, giving crews 15 minutes to work on their cars.
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