Kyle Busch, who was leading the Coca-Cola 500 when his No. 18 Toyota was damaged. Busch ran in the top five at the midpoint of the race until his car ran into engine problems.
Ten fans were injured, Sunday night, at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the running of the Coca-Cola 600, after a nylon rope from the Fox television "Skycam" snapped and fell over the track and grandstand.
Seven fans were taken to the track care center and treated for minor cuts and scrapes. Three more were sent to area hospitals for further evaluation, but were eventually treated and released.
"We certainly regret that the system failure affected tonight's event," said Fox, via a statement. "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 [Charlotte Motor Speedway] for attending to the injuries and keeping us informed on this developing situation."
According to a Fox Sports statement, the camera system that fell consisted of three ropes - a drive rope that moves the camera back and forth, and two guide ropes on either track. The drive rope malfunctioned and fell onto Turn 4, during Lap 122, forcing NASCAR officials to stop the race on Lap 126.
NASCAR officials allowed the competitors pit for 15 minutes - with cars allowed to change tires and refuel, while giving pit crew teams an opportunity to check for damages caused by the fallen cable and make necessary repairs caused by the accident. Repairs, during the red flag, unrelated to the accident were not allowed.
Race leader, Kyle Busch, and Marcos Ambrose, who was running in 15th place, received the most damage. Ambrose had to deal with a broken brake line as well as damage to the grill and roof. The right side of Busch's car - around the front tire, was severely ripped, while the splitter, fender, and rocker arm were also damaged in the aftermath.
"Due to extenuating circumstances with what happened to the cable rope it obviously impacted the flow of the race and also impacted some of the race cars," said NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp. "It was in the interest of everybody's best interest to red flag it, take the necessary steps to get all the cabling either off the racing surface or secured and let the teams bring their cars down pit road and make any necessary repairs."
Busch's pit crew repaired his car well enough for him to remain competitive, for the rest of the race, until his engine blew up on Lap 253.
"I just heard a big thunk on the right-front side tire and thought the right-front tire blew out," said Busch. "It did have an effect slowing my car down and I could feel it like, 'Whoa, that's weird.' I don't know that anybody has ever seen that. Maybe now we can get rid of that thing."
The CamCat camera system is a product from an Austrian company that provides aerial camera views NASCAR events (including last week's All-Star race in Charlotte), the Olympics as well as networks like Fox and NBC. The company has been handling sporting events since 2000 and have never had such an incident prior to the Coca-Cola 600.
"I have never seen anything like it," said Kasey Kahne, who finished in second place behind winner Kevin Harvick. "I came off turn four and I saw it wrapped around Kyle's car and it hit mine and I thought I had to be seeing things because there's no way there could be a cable on the race track. By the time we got to turn one I saw it again and saw Kyle's fender and saw his car go down a little. That's when I knew I wasn't seeing things."