NASCAR suspends use of aerial cameras

NASCAR announced on Friday that it is suspending the use of aerial cameras that hang by cables over race tracks. The sanctioning body released the following statement:

“Pending further investigation of the cable camera system incident during the NASCAR race in Concord, N.C., in May, 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. 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.”

The decision comes as a result of an incident during the May 26 running of the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in which a rope securing one of FOX’s cameras broke, inuring 10 fans and damaging several race cars. While one end of the snapped cable or rope hit the race track, the camera did not fall to the ground. NASCAR red-flagged the race after the incident, allowing teams with damaged cars to make repairs. The c ause of the break has not yet been determined.

FOX and TNT have had their turns broadcasting Sprint Cup Series races this year. ESPN/ABC takes over television coverage of the series with Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and will provide television coverage for the remainder of the 2013 season, including the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup “postseason.”

“We have an excellent working relationship with NASCAR and totally understand their position,” ESPN Vice President of Motorsports Production Rich Feinburg said of the ban. “We look forward to beginning our NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule at Indianapolis and televising 17 great weeks of racing.

ESPN/ABC has already been covering the NASCAR Nationwide Series this year, as it has a contract for the entire Nationwide schedule.

– Photo courtesy of FOX Sports

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Tags: Cameras Charlotte Motor Speedway NASCAR

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