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NASCAR Cup Series Social Media

First Tweets of the NASCAR Famous

When I first learned of Twitter in 2009, my first reaction was, “What a ridiculous name that is.” Then I was told that the exercise of broadcasting your message to the masses was called “tweeting.” I nearly bailed because that sounded like TMI. Nevertheless, I gave it a try, went all-in and actually wound up making a business out of it. 

The use of Twitter in the NASCAR arena spiked at the 2012 Daytona 500 during a red flag, after Juan Montoya ran into a jet dryer causing it to erupt in flames. (There’s a good sarcastic parallel in that sentence about flames and his career… I just don’t have the patience to articulate it.)

Brad Keselowski, from inside his car, tweeted an image of the burning apparatus and it was game-on. 

I watched as Brad’s spotter, Joey Meier, continuously refreshed his Twitter feed. Keselowski’s following began to grow at a rate of around 800 per minute. In just under two hours, he had amassed 100,000 new best friends. Five years later, he’s entertaining 750,000 regularly. His first tweet was kind of dorky, so I chose not to include it. (You’re welcome.

In June of 2012, at Pocono Raceway, NASCAR broke social media ground when they rolled out the “Hashtag NASCAR” program. It was the first time the governing body of a major sport embraced the social platform and it was met with great enthusiasm by fans, competitors, tracks and media. Today, it’s the primary source for realtime race information and breaking news. It has also created a practical opportunity for fans to interact with drivers, crew chiefs, crew members, media and other notable figures in the sport. 

So, I thought it would be fun to look at the first tweets of some high-profile people and entities in the sport. 

Clicking on the tweet will take you to the respective accounts.

 


Although he was late to the Twitter party, Smoke was the first NASCAR driver ever to be re-tweeted by former Vice President and Global Warming enthusiast Al Gore who, by his own account, invented the internet. Without the internet, there would be no Twitter. It’s a big circle. Thanks Al. 👍🏼 🖥

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Yeah, 10:56 is way past Bruton’s bed time. 😔 💤

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This was on an off-week in observance of Easter and April 2nd was Good Friday. Given the time-stamp and the context, it seems as though Clint Bowyer’s spotter was having a Great Friday. 🍺🍸🍷🍾🍹 #Holla

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Gotta love Hamlin. He makes a bold statement out of the gate. Gets right to the point. Doesn’t mince words. Says what he means — means what he says. If only we had hashtags back then….  #spedonpitroad 🚥  #toremyacl 🏀  

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Those five RT’s were Dan Rather, Morley Safer, Steve Kroft, Leslie Stahl and Mike Wallace (No, the other one.) ⏱ 

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This is interesting. The team debuted at Texas in April of 2011 and was originally called Leavine Fenton Racing. It was a partnership with former NASCAR driver Lance Fenton (yeah, neither have I.) 41 days later, following the Coca-Cola 600, Texans Bob and Sharon Leavine assumed Fenton’s share — likely because they never heard of him either. So “Fenton” became “Family” — clearly the best choice for an “F” word.

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Looking out the window, arms folded and foot tapping. 😠

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Carl Edwards. 📵

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HEADLINE: Hamlin Files Lawsuit Against Koch for Plagiarism. Judge Lance Fenton to preside. ⚖

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TRANSLATION: Downloaded the app. Yay! It’s SpeedWeeks and I ain’t got 💩. 

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I’m not really sure what the message is, but how about NASCAR’s very first tweet breaking the 140-character limit rule, huh? …. Well, the PR guy got crushed at the appeal. He was slapped with a three-race suspension, the loss of 25 social media points and encouraged to complete the Road to Twitter Management Program. And the tweet was encumbered.👮🏽  

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Where’s the best place to let people know how to find you on Twitter?…. Twitter!💡

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No clue. But I’ll leave it alone because Kevin could totally kick my ass in a fight. Delana could too. I’m not ruling out Keelan either. 🏋💪🏼 🚑

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Unreal. 🏁

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Email Mike at mike@mikecalinoff.com

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By Mike Calinoff

Over the past twenty-three years, Mike has become a notable figure in the NASCAR community.

As a Spotter, he spent a total of 14 seasons with Matt Kenseth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the Monster Energy Cup and XFINITY Series.

All told, at Roush Fenway Racing, he garnered over 40 wins including three Championships and two Daytona 500’s.

At the end of 2013, Mike left Roush Fenway to focus on his companies and stays active in the NASCAR community at many levels.

Mike was a regular guest on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, featured "act" Speed TV's Trackside Live and makes on occasional cameo on soap operas. (Really?)

He has an affinity for starting new things, such as Popular Speed and 140 BUZZ – a PR, Marketing and Social Media company.

Many 140 BUZZ clients are NASCAR teams, drivers and sponsors and represent many of the most visible brands in NASCAR and other business categories.

Mike is also a Driver Development consultant, where he works with families and drivers around the country to set a career path.

As a stand-up comic Mike is, without a doubt, the funniest guy he knows.

Calinoff lives in Lake Norman, NC