NASCAR suspends use of aerial cameras

Streeter Lecka

NASCAR has barred its television partners from using cameras that hang over the track following an incident in May that injured 10 spectators.

When ESPN begins broadcasting its portion of the Sprint Cup schedule next week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it will do so without the use of a particular camera angle.

On Friday, NASCAR suspended the use of aerial camera systems -- the overhead camera which zips along the frontstretch.

The decision comes after a cable for Fox's CATCAM camera system snapped and fell into the frontstretch grandstand during a Cup race in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Ten fans were injured with three being transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. In addition, some cars were damaged when part of the guide rope fell onto the track.

"NASCAR has decided, in collaboration with its broadcast partners, to suspend all media partner usage of aerial camera systems that hang over race tracks during its sanctioned events," NASCAR said in a statement. "The safety of our competitors and our fans remains NASCAR's number one priority, and until total evaluation and analysis have been completed, usage of this particular technology enhancement and any similar enhancements, has been suspended."

Neither Fox nor TNT has used an aerial camera system since. In an interview on ESPN.com, ESPN said it was planning on using a similar type of apparatus at Indianapolis and again next month at Watkins Glen.

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