Use of aerial camera systems halted
DOVER, Del. -- NASCAR has suspended the use of aerial camera systems that hang over tracks until the investigation into what caused a failure that interrupted the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May is complete.
During the Fox Sports telecast of the 600, the nylon cable that moves the suspended camera on its CAMCAT system broke and fell onto the track and grandstands. Ten fans were injured, and several cars were damaged, causing a 30-minute delay.
ESPN 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.
"We have an excellent working relationship with NASCAR and totally understand their position," said Rich Feinberg, ESPN's vice president of motorsports production. "We look forward to beginning our NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule at Indianapolis and televising 17 great weeks of racing."
NASCAR's statement said the decision to suspend use of the system was made in collaboration with its broadcast partners.
"The safety of our competitors and our fans remains NASCAR's number one priority," the statement said. "And until total evaluation and analysis have been completed, usage of this particular technology enhancement and any similar enhancements has been suspended."