The advent of Twitter has been one of the greatest assets to any NASCAR fan, allowing them to have an inside look at drivers' lives, both at and away from the track, from the drivers themselves. The majority of Sprint Cup drivers (with notable holdouts Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Carl Edwards) use the social media microblog to connect with fans and update them on what life is like as a NASCAR star.
Of course, some drivers are a bit more engaging than others. Though he has since taken control of his account, Jeff Gordon rarely, if ever, tweeted on his own in the early days of his presence on the site. Some drivers only say something a couple of times per week—if that.
These drivers are nothing like that. They're the best of the best when it comes to keeping fans entertained with both interactions and humor. Furthermore, they're the first 10 drivers that any fan should follow when establishing their own account. If you're looking to join the NASCAR Twitter world, keep these names in mind.
When NASCAR fans want drama, they go to Logano's Twitter account. He used it to call out Jeff Gordon at Phoenix last November, as well as to escalate his feud with Denny Hamlin earlier this season. The young driver once nicknamed "Sliced Bread" has carved out a niche reminiscent of Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski, except without as widespread of success in Sprint Cup so far.
He's only a part-time driver these days, but Waltrip's tweets are still some of the best in the business. The added bonus of following the two-time Daytona 500 winner is that his re-tweets basically spread across the board, covering both Michael Waltrip Racing employees and colleagues on the NASCAR on FOX broadcast team. To follow Waltrip is basically to follow the best of both organizations.
Now that Gordon is in primary control of his own account, we've gotten to see part of why he's one of the sport's most transcendent drivers (and media personalities). Gordon's updates range from racing and personal notes to plenty of acknowledgement of his many charity endeavors.
Hamlin's account has lost a little bit of entertainment value over the years, as he's gotten quieter with each passing season. This year, we got to see what a driver in the prime of his career feels when he's injured and can't get in the car, and it hasn't always been pretty. But Hamlin has handled his injury with grace for the most part, and his return to driving this weekend at Talladega should be well received.
He may be older and wiser, but maturity hasn't knocked the fun out of Busch's Twitter account, from re-tweets of fans showing off their Busch-themed possessions to a slice of married life with wife Samantha. When he can't make it to his account, fans can either follow Samantha or some of the numerous Kyle Busch Motorsports accounts for all things Rowdy.
Martin is perhaps the only driver in NASCAR who made lemonade out of the lemons that come with having your account hacked. Last season, when "The Kid" was still new to Twitter, his account was replaced by someone dispensing inspirational quotes to teens under the name "Epic Swag." After Martin got his account back, he actually adopted that as his nickname, even putting it over the driver's side window of his car and selling themed T-shirts.
The upside of having a beer sponsor is that, as its driver, Harvick is encouraged to tweet about it. That alone leads to some fantastic content, while updates on son Keelan (also delivered by wife DeLana) and amateur sports pursuits (alongside Harvick's sidekick, Josh Jones, best known as @Mother_Function) keep the conversation interesting.
The five-time champion is one of the sport's best drivers when it comes to Twitter giveaways, shipping off his hat from every race to—you guessed it—the 48th person to re-tweet a specific tweet every week. Johnson's Twitter allows fans to see a side of his personality that many didn't believe existed earlier in his career, allowing him to dispel the myth that he's a "vanilla" driver.
Bowyer has recently become the king of the late-night Twitter press conference, having done a couple of impromptu sessions already this year. His tweets reflect his personality well, as his thoughts go all over the place, and he doesn't really have a filter on his vocabulary. Following Bowyer is about as close as it gets for NASCAR fans to read "authentic" thoughts of a driver as a regular guy.
He's not the first driver to ever take to Twitter, but there's no doubt that Keselowski is one of the most engaging. His follower count skyrocketed after he posted a photo and real-time updates from inside the car during a red flag in the 2012 Daytona 500. While NASCAR no longer allows drivers to have their cell phones inside the car, it doesn't stop Keselowski from trying to answer his fans as much as possible.
For more from Christopher Leone, follow @christopherlion on Twitter.