A cable that operates a TV camera snapped apart early in Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 and resulted in the third major motorsports event of the day being stopped while it was removed.
About a dozen fans were injured and race cars damaged.
The cars were able to be repaired; seven fans were treated and released at a Charlotte Motor Speedway medical centre while three others were taken to local hospitals for observation.
Fox Sports apologized for the problem and issued the following statement:
"The camera system consists of three ropes - a drive rope which moves the camera back and forth, and two guide ropes on either side. The drive rope failed near the Turn 1 connection and fell to the track. The camera itself did not come down because guide ropes acted as designed. A full investigation is planned, and use of the camera is suspended indefinitely.
For details of the NASCAR race, which was being won by Kevin Harvick at 500 miles, please click here.
Nico Rosberg led from start to finish to win the Grand Prix of Monaco (for details, click here). I am writing this in Indianapolis and didn't see much of the race because the Fox Sports Network channel in the Indianapolis area showed the pre-race program and then switched to a fishing show.
So I asked my wife at home if she'd seen it and she said she had and that it was boring. "It's time they went the other way around to make that race interesting again," she said.
Of course, there's controversy - and when isn't there in F1? Seems Mercedes maybe (maybe . . .) conducted a private tire test for Pirelli. So? How else are they going to fix the tire degredation problem. I'm sure we'll find out more about this in the days ahead - or not.
Next race: Canada in two weeks.
Oh, Romain Grosjean caused another crash, apparently. How long can that guy stick at Lotus?
Finally, what follows is my wrapup and then my live blog from Indianapolis Sunday.
Tony Kanaan finally got some luck - few people have had more bad luck than him at Indy - and won the 97th Indianapolis 500.
Oh, before we pick up what I wrote earlier Sunday, I have to say something. A number of people have written or left comments about how wrong I was suggesting in a column I wrote for Toronto Star Wheels Saturday that Carlos Munoz wasn't good enough to be in the 500.
I didn't say Munoz shouldn't be in the Indy 500. I didn't think Katherine Legge should have been in it (seven laps down at the checkers) or Pippa Mann (the less said about her the better) but what I did say was that it would have been a good idea if they'd asked him to drop back for the start because his inexperience could have created a problem.
I still feel that way. And it has nothing to do with Munoz. Any rookie who had never driven on an oval track until two weeks ago (as was the case with him) and was in the front row of the most important auto race in the world at one of the most demanding and dangerous tracks would also have been better off starting at the back.
Munoz pulled it off and good for him. But I won't change my mind when it comes to safety at race tracks.
Norris McDonald wraps up this year's Indy 500
In one of the most popular victories in years, Tony Kanaan won the 97th renewal of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing under yellow today after defending champion Dario Franchitti crashed when the race was restarted with just a few laps to go.
Rookie Carlos Munoz finished second, with Ryan Hunter-Reay third, Marco Andretti fourth and Justin Wilson a surprising fifth.
The remaining drivers in the top ten: Helio Castroneves, who was shooting for his fourth Indy 500, was sixth, A.J. Allmendinger was seventh, Simon Pagenaud was eighth, Charlie Kimball ninth and pole-sitter Ed Carpenter tenth.
The two Canadians in the 33-car field were far from successful.
Alex Tagliani of Montreal hung around the top ten all day but faded at the end to finish 24th after brushing the wall and damaging his right-rear wheel.
James Hinchcliffe of Oakville had a dreadful day. His car never handled and got worse every time he pitted and his team tried to correct the problem. There have been suggestions that a tire placed on the car during a late-race pit stop might have been losing air (translation: going flat).
He finished 21st.
The big loser was Hunter-Reay. He led many laps in the race - there were 13 different leaders and 68 change, both records - and was in the lead when the field got the green flag with only a few laps remaining.
But Kanaan, who had been second on the restart, went low on Hunter-Reay going into turn one and Munoz, in third place, followed him into second. And then, before anybody else could do anything, Dario Franchitti crashed and the yellow was out and that was all she wrote.
(There is not a green-white-checkers finish in Indy car racing, so the iconic race got the checkers with the pace car leading Kanaan across the finish line.)
Hinchclifffe had qualified ninth in the 33-car field but was visually unhappy after Carb Day Friday when he was only 14th fastest while running with a full fuel load and his race-day setup.
Right from the get-go today, Hinchcliffe was uncompetitive and his handling appeared to get worse as the race progresssed. When he got out of the car after the checkers, he was obviously angry and suggested there was more wrong with the car than a lousy setup.
Kanaan was a single fellow for years but married his long-time sweetheart, Lauren, over the winter. Observers suggested that married life suited Tony and that he could be challenging for the series championship going forward.
It was a hugely entertaining race. With that many leaders and lead changes, it couldn't help but be. And the huge crowd showed its appreciation with many of them staying in their seats and clapping and cheering the participants after the fact.
Of course, a huge crowd, an iconic race and an exciting finish featuring a very popular driver serves to show the challenges facing a series like IndyCar, which undoubtedly attracted a huge TV audience today but is largely invisible the rest of the year.
The only race that really matters, year in and year out, is the Indianapolis 500. It makes or breaks a season for a team. Yes, the overall championship can be important but if given a choice of one or the other, most drivers would say a win at Indy would be more important than any championship.
In fact, Canadian hero Jacques Villeneuve, who won the F1 world championship, recently told Britain's Autosport magazine that he considered his 1995 Indy 500 win more important than his world championship.
The 97th Indy 500 is now in the history books. The circus will now move on to Detroit next weekend for the first double-header weekend of the season. That's when they run a race on Saturday and then turn around and run another one on Sunday.
The Toronto Honda Indy will also feature a double-header. How the cars and stars of IndyCar handle Detroit will pretty much illustrate what to expect when IndyCar gets to Toronto in July.
Kanaan said afterward that he got a little bit lucky.
"It's (the victory) for the fans," he said. "It's for my dad who's not here. I'm looking at the stands and it was unbelievable. I'm speechless. This is it, man, I made it. Finally, they're going to show my ugly face on this trophy."
Tony Kanaan won the Indy 500 today with rookie Carlos Munoz second and Ryan Hunter-Reay third. Marco Andretti finished fourth and Justin Wilson was fifth. James Hinchcliffe was running at the finish but was far out of contention.
The race finished under yellow - no green=white=checkers finishes in Indy car racing - after a restart led to yet another crash in the waning laps of the classic race.
Yellow with seven laps to go after Graham Rahal spins and hits thewall coming out of two. Hinch had just gone to the pits again. Hunter-Reay, Kanaan and Munoz are one, two, three.
Can they clean up the mess to get a green flag finish? More than 200,000 are standing at Indy.
Ten to go: Kanaan, Huner-Reay and Andretti. Close as paper on a wall.
Hinchcliffe leads laps as he was last to come into the pits for fuel, tires.
Sebastien Bourdais hits the wall while pitting. Final pit stops happening.
Tagliani brushes wall. He is done.
With 40 laps to go, Hunter-Reay is leading, Marco Andretti is second and Allmendinger is third. Munoz and Kanaan round out the top five.
Officially, 13 different leaders and 50 lead changes are new records with more to come.
Allmendinger has recovered his lap (all other drivers had to pit for fuel and tires, giving him a leg up) and he leads the Indy 500. Hunter-Reay is second, Viso is thid, Andretti is fourth and Kanaan is fifth.
Tagliani is 13th and Hinchcliffe is so far back they'll have to send out a search party. His car is undriveable. He came sooo close to hitting the wall between turns one and two that there must have been room for maybe an eyelash. He then nearly lost total control but held it together.
Allmendinger has pitted.
It is now official. Twelves racers, a record, have now completed 38 lead changes in this Indy 500, also a record. There is still a quarter of the race to go.
There have been 3 lead changes in the race to date. At least a dozen drivers have led the race but the Canadian drivers, Tagliani and Hinchcliffe, are not among them.
The 12 drivers to lead, incidentally, is a record for the Indy 500.
After 120 laps, there are still 23 cars on the lead lap. Hunter-Reay, Munoz and Viso are the top three. Hinchcliffe is having a miserable time and is back in 17th.
Graham Rahal and James Jakes have each been fined $10,000 for violating blend-line rules (not entering or exiting the pits properly). Jakes also got a drive-through penalty for a pit safety rule infraction.
Meantime, Allmendinger dropped out of the lead when he pitted for tires and fuel. While in the pits, his belts became undone and had to be refastened by a crew member. Hè's a lap down.
They are at the halfway mark of the 97th Indy 500. It is an official race, in case it rains (which it probably won't as the sky is pretty bright, although still overcast).
The order: Allmendinger, Kanaan, Hunter-Reay, Viso and Andretti. Tagliani is ninth and Hinch is 12th.
Indy is a strange place and race. As mentioned, most of the seats were filled when the race started. Now, nearly at the halfway mark, many of the seats are empty as people get up to walk around and party in the infield.
Pit stops starting. Green ones too.
Jamie Little, who usually does pit stops in NASCAR, just reported that someone had taken on a load of Sunoco fuel. Sorry, they burn ethanol in IndyCar.
Hinchcliffe`s handling is going away big time and he`s out of the top ten. Power is still in the lead, Kanaan is second with Hunter-Reay third, Allmendinger is up to fourth and Marco Andretti is fifth. Tagliani is ninth and Hinch is 14th.
Will Power, Helio Castroneves and A.J. Allmendinger - all Penske drivers - are turning heads running first, sixth and ninth. Hinch is out of the top ten, in 11th. Tagliani is tenth.
The low-buck effort of 1996 Indy 500 winner Buddy Lazier is over. His car has been pushed to the garage. Ed Carpenter, the hometown boy, still leads.
Carpenter is back in the lead. Hinchclifffe`s car is obviously working better and he is challenging for the top five. Having said that, Viso just passed him and he`s back in eighth place.
Lining up for the restart, Hinchcliffe got a great jump during the pit stop and is now running seventh. Hunter-Reay is now in the lead, with Andretti second and Carpenter third. Tagliani is running tenth.
Takuma Sato, a favourite to win, has just spun coming out of turn 2. Hinchcliffe is up into the top ten. Tagliani is ninth. The yellow is out and the leaders are in for pit stops.
The top dozen cars are still together on the restart. Andretti is in front, followed by Carpenter, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan. Tagliani is 10th and Hinch is 13th.
The yellow is out after Sebastien Saavedra spun and hit the wall in turn four. He told his crew someone should be penalized but it appeared that the Colombian driver tried to pass on the inside at a spot where cars drop down into the groove to go through a corner and he could have been the architect of his own misfortune.
Saavedra, of course, replaced Katherine Legge at Dragon Racing at the beginning of the season, leaving Legge without a drive. There was much bitterness. Legge felt aggrieved and sued. It was settled but details have never been made public.
Saavedra has crashed in previous races, putting smiles on the faces of Legge fans.
His crash, of course, means she`s still in the race and he`s not. More grist for the Twitter mill.
Pit stops are shuffling the order. Kanaan was fist in, then Andretti and the rest.
Kanaan and Andretti keep trading the lead. The top 20 cars are running literally nose to tail. It is a very competitive race so far.
The place is packed. There are some empty seats down near the track near the start/finish line but most other seats are full.
Tony Kanaan had the lead for a lap but Andretti passed him back at the beginning of Lap 15.
The order: Andretti, Kanaan, Carpenter, Viso, Munoz. Tagliani is eight; Hinchcliffe 12th.
Marco Andretti is now in the lead. Hinchcliffe nearly hit the wall coming out of turn four. Oh, so close.
Pole sitter Ed Carpenter led the field into the first turn. All through safely. Three laps later, J.R. Hildebrand lost control exiting turn two and hit the wall.
He and Hinchcliffe were running together when Hildebrand lost control. Hinch and J.R. were rookies the same year and Hinch beat Hildebrand for rookie of the year.
On the restart, Carpenter held the lead over Andretti and Viso. Alex Tagliani was running 8th and Hinchcliffe 11th.
Mari Hulman George just gave the command to start engines. The 97th Indy 500 is moments away.
Driver introductions are taking place. Hinchcliffe just got a great cheer. It`s too chilly for good racing, though. It will be tough to warm up the ties. The drivers will have to be very careful doing it.
Race Day at the Indy 500 is finally here and it`s overcast. Although there probably won`t be rain till late in the day, the dark clouds could have an effect on race strategy.
When the sun is shining back home in Indiana, most racers will settle in for the long haul, maintaining position and getting themselves ready for a late-race charge to the checkers. When it`s threatening like it is today, it will be a free-for-all, with the drivers forgetting about the marathon and trying to win the sprint to be in front at the 101st lap, which would make it an official race.
A.J. Allmendinger, a favourite in the old Champ Car Indy car series and a NASCAR driver of note (although when he flunked a drug test last summer there was concern for his future), is making his first Indy 500 start driving for Roger Penske. He is one of four rookies in the field but anybody who thinks he`s a rookie is nuts. The other three - Conor Daly (son of ex-F1 and CART star Derek Daly), Tristan Vautier and Carlos Munoz - have talent but lack experience.
Other `fours`at this year`s 500: four women are in the race - Pippa Mann, Catherine Legge, Ana Beatriz and Simona de Silvestro will be out to equal or beat the the third-place finish of Danica Patrick.
And Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti will be trying to win their fourth 500, tying Rick Mears, A.J. Foyt and Al Unser Sr.