CONCORD, N.C. - Ten fans were injured Sunday night when a nylon rope from a Fox Sports overhead camera fell over the Charlotte Motor Speedway grandstands, red-flagging the Coca-Cola 600 for nearly 30 minutes.
Three fans were transported to two hospitals for further evaluation, the track said, while seven were treated for minor cuts and scrapes at an on-site medical center and released.
Two fans were taken to Carolinas Medical Center NorthEast in Concord. One fan was taken to University Medical Center.
Charlotte Motor Speedway spokesman Scott Cooper said those three fans were treated and released. He said he was unable to disclose the nature of the fans' injuries due to privacy laws.
The rope, a guide for the overhead camera that whizzed along the frontstretch, suddenly fell onto the track on lap 121 of the 400-lap event.
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, told USA TODAY Sports that officials were "stunned like everyone else" when the camera's nylon rope suddenly fell.
"We did our best," he said of dealing with the situation. "It was important to stop the race and get it all cleaned up properly. We'll talk to the Fox guys and see what happened, and that's really all we know right now."
Pemberton said the "very unusual set of circumstances" was what prompted NASCAR to allow teams to stop in their pit stalls for 15 minutes and repair damage without losing their track position.
"We felt it was best to give the guys time to make the repairs," he said. "It wasn't their fault. You can't always do that, but this time, we thought it would be in the best interest of the competitors and the fans."
The camera also was used at the Daytona 500 and last week's All-Star Race at Charlotte.
It damaged several cars - including that of race leader Kyle Busch. Teams were allowed to repair the damage on their cars for 15 minutes before the race continued.
Fox apologized on the air for delaying the race with its camera malfunction and later issued 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.
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