Bickmeier's Blog: NASCAR Takes Over Twitter
At least that is my view, and apparently 140,000 other people.
Brad Keselowski (@Keselowski) took us not just inside his world via Twitter, but he took us inside his race car and on the track as crews worked to extinguish a fire following Juan Pablo Montoya’s (@JPMontoya) on-track incident and the subsequent clean-up and repairs needed to get the race restarted.
I (@RIRprez) am new to the “Twitterverse” – a little more than two weeks now – but it is addicting. I’m still feeling my way through it, but you quickly understand the power of this medium to interact with fans, to tell a story, to provide updates, to converse (in 140 characters or less) and to learn.
I was un able to watch the middle part of the race while driving to Washington DC. For the record, I was the passenger, not the driver (thanks @RIRInsider for driving), so I was able to not only listen to the MRN (@MRNRadio) broadcast but I was able to get updates in real time from media, fans at the event and those watching at home.
It was fun and entertaining reading tweets from a variety of sources like DeLana Harvick (@DeLanaHarvick) and Krissie Newman (@NewmanKrissie); media members Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) and Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck); and NASCAR (@NASCAR), as well, with several tweets by Steve O’Donnell (@odsteve), Senior Vice President of Racing Operations.
All of sudden the tweets changed.
There was a major on-track incident. The tweets and MRN reporting focused on a major fire. As news traveled on what was happening, a “follower” on twitter, like me, was able to ascertain who was involved, their status and what was being done to clean up and prepare the track to potentially go racing again. There was also much speculation on what would happen, or not happen, with the remaining laps to be contested.
All of sudden the tweets changed, AGAIN.
Keselowski, Penske Racing’s driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, began tweeting. Well, that’s not too crazy because he is a noted Tweeter, having embraced Twitter early on. However, he was still in his race car. He sent photos of the fire, made comments and even had other drivers coming over to him to see what was going on. He took NASCAR fans somewhere they have never been.
The response was amazing. The following day NASCAR issued a statement that Keselowski would not be disciplined for his use of Twitter during the race. NASCAR concluded that his actions did not violate “any current rules pertaining to the use of social media during races. As such, he won’t be penalized.” The statement went on to say, “we encourage our drivers to use social media to express themselves as long as they do so without risking their safety or that of others.”
I love where we are with this “thing.” It took me a while to catch up, but it’s fun, frustrating and addicting all at the same time. You may ask, “Why is it frustrating?” It’s hard to keep up, but I am enjoying interacting with our great fans.
If you are already part of the Twitter world or if you’re thinking about joining, please give us a follow @RIRInsider and @RIRPrez.
In closing, we are so happy to have the season off and running.