Racing giant Roger Penske gave his endorsement and support to Brad Keselowski, the Social Media Savvy Driver who used Twitter during Monday’s Daytona 500. The NASCAR driver is setting the pace with his savvy use of social media. Last week, Keselowski honored over 2,600 of his Twitter followers who had won a contest on his website by featuring their Twitter handles on his Number 19 truck in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Then during the Daytona 500, Keselowski became the first NASCAR driver to tweet during a race. Keselowski began tweeting during the two-hour red flag in Monday night’s race and actually posted a picture of his view of the race for fans to share. In addition, the driver answered fans’ questions and posted updates on the delay including allowing other drivers to check weather radar. Keselowski’s use of Twitter has increased his followers from around 65,000 at the start of the race to over 200,000 by the night’s end.
Roger Penske, a virtual legend in racing, who recently turned 75, said that even he might have to join the craze and get on Twitter. “I don’t Twitter myself, but I guess I’m going to have to, maybe,” joked Penske. “I think social media is here to stay. All of our businesses are involved in Twitter and Brad is a creative young guy. I take my hat off to him and I think the followers he picked up liked it and, to me, our sponsors were excited about it.”
Earlier this week, NASCAR officials determined Kelelowski could keep his cell phone and that all drivers are encouraged to use social media. In a statement, “NASCAR will not penalize Brad Keselowski for his use of Twitter during last night’s Daytona 500. Nothing we’ve seen from Brad violates any current rules pertaining to the use of social media during races. As such, he won’t be penalized. We encourage our drivers to use social media to express themselves as long as they do so without risking their safely or that of others.”