Marcos Ambrose could see debris coming out of the rear of Mark Martin's car during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
It was then that he heard what he described as a "big whack" as the downed cable for Fox's overhead "CAMCAT" camera struck the front of his Ford.
But it wasn't until NASCAR displayed the yellow flag to clear the debris that Ambrose realized he had sustained significant damage to his car.
"It ripped the brake line off the back of the car," Ambrose said Tuesday during a teleconference. "It was still flapping. I could feel it and hear it. It really wasn't until a lap of caution that I was able to work it all out when I saw the leftover piece of rope sitting on the side of the track.
"It all came at me pretty fast, but it was certainly unusual just because of the fact that it didn't impact one car, it was pretty much the entire field went over that wire."
What Ambrose hit was a rope which Fox said in a statement had the "approximate strength of a steel wire with the same diameter." The cable injured 10 fans with three being transferred to area hospitals for further treatment where they were later released with undisclosed injuries.
This all occurred just past the one-quarter mark of NASCAR's longest race, and with speeds near 200 miles per hour it wasn't a surprise that the damage was so severe.
Kyle Busch was leading when he made contact with the cable and the collision ripped a good-sized hole in the right-side of his car near the front tire.
NASCAR was forced to stop the race for nearly 30 minutes as track workers worked to remove the cable. During the red flag, officials took the unusual step of allowing teams 15 minutes to make any repairs that were necessary without losing their position.
"NASCAR did a great thing by stopping the race, fixing the problem, allowing guys that had damage to their cars to repair them as best they can," Ambrose said.
With his car patched up, Ambrose went on to finish the 600-mile race in 10th, just the second time this season he's been scored in the top 10. This was one reason why two days later he was able to laugh about the incident.
"I've certainly run into things that I didn't expect," Ambrose said. "... Hitting that cable was a lot better than hitting a kangaroo, which I've done before."