Nascar Bans Overhead Cable Camera Systems After Cars Tripped

Nascar banned the use of overhead cable camera systems to broadcast races after a loose cable suspended over the track snapped, injuring fans and damaging cars at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The cars, including that of race leader Kyle Busch, were damaged when they ran over the Fox News Network camera cable, forcing officials to issue a red flag after 126 laps that interrupted the race for 30 minutes on May 26. Ten fans were injured in the stands when the nylon cable broke.

Nascar said the ban would be in place until investigation of the incident is completed.

“The safety of our competitors and our fans remains Nascar’s number one priority, and until total evaluation and analysis have been completed, usage of this particular technology enhancement, and any similar enhancements, has been suspended,” Nascar said yesterday in a statement.

The 20th Century Fox Television crew used the CATCAM system without incident at the Daytona 500 and the Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte.

ESPN Inc., which will televise the remainder of the Nascar Sprint Cup series this season, had planned to use the Batcam system for next weekend’s Brickyard 400 and the Aug. 11 road-course race at Watkins Glen. The system is used only for motorsports and comes from a different vendor than the one Fox used at Charlotte, the Walt Disney Co.-owned network said on its website.

“We have an excellent working relationship with Nascar and totally understand their position,” Rich Feinberg, ESPN vice president of motorsports production, said in a statement. “We look forward to beginning our Nascar Sprint Cup schedule at Indianapolis and televising 17 great weeks of racing.”

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