Twitter has become quite a phenomenon in a short period of time. That’s how things work in the online world. What’s cool today is out tomorrow. Many folks were slow to get on board when Twitter was new. How could you say everything you wanted in 140 characters or less? But it has turned out to be an invaluable service and source for news in real time.
The integration of NASCAR news and happenings into Twitter has been a game-changer. Fans can interact with drivers and often get responses from drivers like @JimmieJohnson, @55MarkMartin, and @keselowski, as well as NASCAR reporters that follow the sport every week. Many drivers reply to fan questions and comments, and will often have giveaways on Twitter. Jimmie Johnson gives away the hat he wears at the previous race every Wednesday. Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) has given away a dream vacation at a racetrack the last couple of years. Brad Keselowski gained over 100,000 during the Daytona 500 earlier this year after he tweeted photos from his car during the race after the infamous Juan Pablo Montoya incident that caused a jet dryer to explode. It was the ultimate case of instant information from a celebrity on the scene and the result was that NASCAR-related subjects and hashtags dominated the trending topics on Twitter for over an hour.
One of the more entertaining aspects of the integration of Twitter into the sport is the addition of humorous content. If you are a NASCAR fan on Twitter that does not follow @nascarcasm, you are missing some of the funniest content on Twitter. It has gotten to the point that if I am reading my iPad and laugh at anything at all, my two sons instantly ask me if it is something else from @nascarcasm. That’s because they have asked me many times what’s funny and my response has been @nascarcasm so many times, they just assume it’s him again. He’s that funny.
You can also get instant news and commentary with the Twitter feeds from Jayski.com, ESPN, and as mentioned before, reporters for news and sports outlets. Anytime there is breaking news, I can expect to find 12-15 posts within minutes of the news breaking in my Twitter feed. Many of the wives, girlfriends, and PR reps of the drivers provide instant, behind-the-scenes information you wouldn’t normally hear about during the race. You can also follow most racetracks and many of the upper level management of NASCAR itself, including NASCAR Senior Vice President, Steve O’Donnell (@odsteve) who also often gives away tickets to upcoming races through Twitter.
This weekend begins the official marriage of Twitter and NASCAR. Twitter has set up a website where an enhanced, live event will take place within the race event itself – the first such event involving Twitter and any major sporting event or series. Be sure to check it out during Sunday’s race from Pocono Speedway. https://twitter.com/hashtag/nascar