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Shakedown Session: The Good, Bad, & The Ugly About Twitter In NASCAR

“The Good, Bad, & The Ugly About Twitter In NASCAR”

Unless NASCAR fans have taken residence under a rock, it’s very hard to ignore the presence the social networking site, Twitter, and their role in the world of NASCAR. In a world where NASCAR fans have short attention spans, Twitter has become a source of news, information, and communication between drivers, crew members, and those who work in the world of NASCAR Media. Media personalities such as Jeff Gluck and Bob Pockrass have carved themselves a niche audience of sorts on Twitter. Many of the NASCAR drivers have their own Twitter accounts, with a few exceptions. There are also crew members who have jumped on board the Twitter phenomenon.

One such crew member was former Red Bull Racing Team and Turner Motorsports employee Jeremy Fuller, who unleashed a bit of a controversy on Twitter recently. Following Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350k, Fuller posted a picture of a car with a homemade rainbow-colored sign that indicated the car was headed to the San Francisco Pride parade, which is a celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movements. Fuller posted in response to the sign, “This is way (sic) I don’t live here!” on his Twitter. The end result of this Twitter post resulted in Fuller’s contractor agreement being terminated with the Red Bull Racing Team. Agree or disagree with Fuller’s comments, to publically post that comment on Twitter was, at best, an incredibly short-sighted comment to make about such a sensitive subject.

Fuller’s comment brings to light a bit of a downside to the Twitter phenomenon. Drivers, crew members, and media members all are in a position of having to watch what they post on Twitter for fear of the potential repercussions that may come from an insensitive comment. Anyone that works in NASCAR or is involved with the sport in any way needs to be fully aware that what they post might be interpreted as a joke to some friends, but there are others in the sport that could very easily take offense to an off-color remark.

However, for the most part, Twitter has proven to be an effective way for NASCAR drivers to keep in touch with their friends in the industry, not to mention the millions and millions of fans in NASCAR nation. Even Frontstretch is in on the social networking movement, with a page on Twitter. Sure, there are fans who exist on Twitter for the sole purpose of “trolling” other drivers, trying to get any kind of reaction out of them, but for the most part, Twitter has become almost a sort of a necessary evil in the world of NASCAR. While it can be tricky to keep Twitter posts under 140 characters, sometimes saying less is more on Twitter.

In a few cases, Twitter has provided NASCAR fans with news they wouldn’t get otherwise. Case in point, when Tim Andrews and his 2nd Chance Motorsports crew were callously left behind by team owner Rick Russell at Kansas, news of the story broke on the Twitter account of Tim Andrews. Also, word of the Jennifer Jo Cobb and Rick Russell split at Bristol back in March traveled fast, thanks in part to the Twitter universe and the power of social networking. Twitter has become a sort of instant news source for those working in the NASCAR media, and even for fans, that would be hard-pressed to come up with NASCAR news for some of the lower-end teams.

At the end of the day, one thing is evidently clear. Twitter is here to stay in the world of NASCAR and while it remains to be seen if this is a good thing or a bad thing, the one thing that’s known for sure is that its definitely an easy way to communicate with other drivers, fans, and others that work in the sport and, admittedly, it’s a terrific source for news in the world of NASCAR. So Tweet away, fans!

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