NASCAR fans are always looking for more access to their favorite drivers.
From being in the infield and walking down pit road, NASCAR drivers are some of the most accessible athletes in sports.
At the right moment a fan could walk up to a driver just minutes before they climb aboard their car and get a picture and an autograph.
But some fans will always want more and now they have it.
In March of 2006 Jack Dorsey had an idea and a need to know what his friends were doing, and so he started a project with some colleagues and by August it was publicly launched.
And now almost four years later Twitter has started to not only sweep the nation, but also the world.
From friends and family, to TV shows, and celebrities, everyone seems to be on Twitter and using 140 characters in their status bar to let others know what’s going on.
In 2009 those closely associated with NASCAR and soon drivers, their wives, spotters, or their public relations representatives, were Tweeting as well.
Fans were now getting even more up close and personal to their stars as they’ve always wanted and it’s right in front of them.
Some of those include Kyle Busch, David Ragan, Max Papis, Kevin Harvick and his wife DeLana, Bobby Labonte, Michael Waltrip, Denny Hamlin, Juan Pablo Montoya, and many more.
But even more than feeling connected to the men they worship on Sundays, Twitter has provided instant information and access to those that crave it.
After personally joining Twitter in May of 2009, I couldn’t believe how fast I was getting inside information or instant information on what was taking place away from the track.
From breaking news that had not in fact been publicly announced yet, to the latest rumors surfacing the garage, I was now in the know faster than any NASCAR related website was updating me.
Watching races became much more informative, knowing what drivers were saying, how their cars were handling, if a caution was about to come out and what was taking place during commercial breaks.
It was also interesting to be able to connect with other NASCAR fans from all over the world and getting to reach out to NASCAR media members and hear what they have to think about what’s taking place.
Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press , Marty Smith of ESPN , Nate Ryan of USA Today , and Jeff Gluck of NASCAR Scene , are just some of the media that share their thoughts from either inside the media center or sitting at home during the week.
And don’t worry they don’t hold anything back and call it like they see it.
From what the drivers are saying on their radios, to how they feel about certain situations, they lay it all out in their updates.
This past weekend most of them tweeted from inside the NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Banquet and even sent pictures of themselves all dressed up or how the tables looked.
By now most fans who have read articles on NASCAR websites have most likely heard of the social networking site and how drivers use it to let out their feelings.
Many point to the Denny Hamlin/Brad Keselowski feud in which Hamlin had no problem telling everyone how he felt about the young man.
Michael Waltrip had a few choice words for “Dr. Phil” during the NASCAR awards banquet and tweeted right from his table.
And both TJ Majors and Mike Davis, spotter and PR director for Dale Earnhardt Jr., used it to express how they felt during a tough day at the track or to reassure Earnhardt Jr. fans that the National Enquirer magazine article was indeed false.
No one would know better than those that work for the man and see him everyday.
Of course, Majors also used it to take his shots at both Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch throughout the course of the year.
Not only does Twitter make things more fun, but more informative.
NASCAR fans want to know what’s going on and when and by following both their favorite drivers and media members, they’ll know when something happens, the minute it does.
If they’re lucky, they may even get a picture to go along with it. Many were uploading photos from champion’s week in Las Vegas last week, what the drivers were doing and where Jimmie Johnson was going, or from the racetracks on Sunday.
NASCAR tracks even have their own Twitter pages to update upcoming events at the speedway and as the Homestead-Miami Speedway does, upload pictures of driver as they sat in the media center, or during driver introductions.
Fans have even won signed merchandise from race teams.
Daytona International Speedway’s Twitter page have contests and if for instance a fan answered their trivia question, they would get a signed Kasey Kahne hat.
The Twitter page for Hendrick Motorsports has done the same thing with HMS gear.
Kyle Petty even tweets during the race while he's inside the broadcast booth for TNT.
Many worried that NASCAR would stop drivers and teams from using Twitter for whatever reason, however NASCAR has said they not only embrace it and tell drivers to use the site, but they themselves use it.
Want to know what Jimmie Johnson’s championship ring looks like? Go to Twitter and you’ll find a picture.
Want to know what Elliott Sadler is up to today? Go to Twitter and find out.
Want to know what Kenny Wallace thinks about just about everything? Go to Twitter and look him up.
Do you want to see a picture from inside JR Motorsports from new driver Kelly Bires? He'll upload them on his page.
Maybe you want to see Mark Martin at a photo shoot he's doing? His PR director will update you on how it's going.
Or maybe you want to get to know other NASCAR fans and talk racing all day long? Go to Twitter and you’ll meet millions of people that are just like you.
For anyone that is already on Twitter, they can probably tell you how much they enjoy it and how much more they know about what’s happening in NASCAR.
And I highly suggest to anyone that is not on Twitter that you sign up right away.
Watching a race with Twitter in front of you will no doubt give you a different appreciation of what’s happening.
And then during the week you’ll be able to keep track of everything that’s going on without having to flip through different websites.
Twitter is the thing that everyone is doing; you should jump on board before the start of the 2010 season.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go update my Twitter page to let everyone know I’ve written this article.
For a list of some of those in NASCAR using Twitter, visit here: http://finallapradio.com/2009/02/28/twitter-list-guide-to-nascar-drivers-and-tracks/