Pit and garage passes. Autograph sessions. Driver meet and greets. Team websites. All of these are traditional methods by which any avid IndyCar fan can meet their favorite driver and follow their progress.
However, many IndyCar series drivers have taken to the 21st century and started their own Twitter accounts, allowing race fans to know where drivers are at any moment and get a glimpse into the private lives of their favorite racer.
I personally follow many of IndyCar's top drivers, including Tony Kanaan (my personal favorite Twitter-er), Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick, Dan Wheldon, Mario Moraes, Alex Lloyd, and Sarah Fischer, not to mention teams such as Vision Racing and Conquest Racing. Most drivers update frequently, and with sometimes humorous updates
Where else could you learn that Mario Moraes is sometimes known as the fourth Jonas Brother, Mario Jonas? Or that Tony Kanaan has his "own" Chia Pet?
Only Twitter can show Tony Kanaan and his Chia head side by side, or Kanaan and Marco Andretti bagging groceries for a local promotion, or even EJ Viso standing on his helmet in Times Square to be seen in a photo shoot.
Twitter lets you in on the lives of drivers as never before possible. Vision Racing, for example, has used Twitter to give away IZOD and William Rast team merchandise by Tweeting the answer to a trivia question.
Pictures aren't the only way by which the fan can learn more about the driver. For example, by reading Dan Wheldon's Tweet, you could learn that he recently dined at a certain Indianapolis restaurant, or that the bus driver for the NYC photo shoot nearly made Tony Kanaan vomit on Scott Dixon.
The question is, however, where does Twitter cross the line between letting the race fan into the life of a driver, and letting them know TOO much? Does a fan really need to know where Wheldon is eating dinner? Or that Danica Patrick's car is loose with 20 minutes left in final practice?
Shouldn't the driver be focusing more on the race than on their Blackberry? Granted, nobody knows exactly who is making these Tweets, however, I would suspect that a number of drivers, rather than PR personnel, make those updates.
Create your own Twitter account, Tweet from the track like I do, and join us for another episode in the saga of As the Tweet Turns...