Fans are still reeling from some intense moments at the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Race this weekend.
Ten fans were hurt Sunday when a fiber cable holding a Fox network camera broke during the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. According to a statement from CMS, seven were treated for minor injuries and released. Three others were taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. They were released early Monday morning.
The cable also damaged several cars, which caused the red flag to drop during the 124th lap. Teams were given 15 minutes to make repairs.
Eddie Gonzalos, 18, told WBTV he was in the middle of taking a photo of himself with the track behind him when the cable fell. He immediately started capturing video on his phone.
"The camera was right over us…in the D section...two rows back from the gate…and something snapped on it," Gonzalos' father Edward Gonzalos said.
"The wires came down...and I thought I gotta take a video of that…everyone was trying to warn everyone else about it…and I was hoping no cars flipped or anything…it was pretty intense," Eddie Gonzalos said.
"The cable went all across about a hundred feet behind us into the crowds …the cars came through and I was like ‘oh wow, I hope it doesn't wrap around the tires.' My wife did see some people hit the stands, lay down flat," the elder Gonzalos added.
Pat Carpenter and his son, Chris, were also at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the incident. Pat said the cable wrapped around his arm and yanked it up 180 degrees.
"It definitely could have been a lot worse, and a lot of people should be very thankful. I know I'm very thankful that he's here today," said Pat Carpenter.
NASCAR said it will have a debrief with FOX sports later this week to discuss the incident.
Fox Sports released the following statement:
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.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. told WBTV, "I hope everybody is okay. I hope that the fans injured recover fast. I know a couple haven't been released, but several have. So we just hope that everybody is okay."
Monday, a NASCAR spokesperson told WBTV, "We'll have full debrief with Fox this week to determine what happened and evaluate what's best, safest moving forward. We appreciate the good work of the track and safety teams and were happy to learn all injured fans were cared for and released last night."
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