Artie Kempner apologizes to drivers

Updated: June 2, 2013, 2:20 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

DOVER, DEL. -- A Fox Sports executive apologized before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway for the broken television cable that interrupted last week's Coca-Cola 600 for nearly 30 minutes.

Artie Kempner, the lead director for Fox Sports NASCAR and NFL, made the apology during the pre-race driver's meeting attended by drivers, crew chiefs and top NASCAR officials.

"It's a personal project for us, cause we work with these guys every week,'' Kempner said. "We want to let them know we don't ever want to be the story. That's the bottom line.''

Kempner said the investigation by Fox Sports into what caused the cable to break and fall onto the track and grandstands continues. He said no determination has been made for when the CAMCAT system that provides overhead shots across the track will be used again.

"It was a great tool and it malfunctioned,'' he said. "The company is still working on trying to find out exactly what caused the situation.''

The nylon drive cable that moves the suspended camera injured 10 fans when it came down. Seven were treated and released from the infield care center and three were treated and released from local hospitals.

The cable also damaged several cars, including the right front end of race leader Kyle Busch's Toyota. NASCAR stopped the race for 15 minutes to allow teams to survey damage and fix anything related to the incident without losing track position.

Drivers supported NASCAR's decision, which was unprecedented.

"They just set the new precedent in my opinion; which I think is the correct thing to do,'' said four-time champion Jeff Gordon, whose team was not allowed to work on his car during a red flag situation in 2004 when a piece of the track came up and put a hole in his car at Martinsville Speedway.

"Those are things outside your control as a driver and as a team. It's not fair to those competitors that could have really ended their race or really taken them out of competition.''

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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