Daytona 500 Crash Brings NASCAR Driver 100,000+ Twitter Followers

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Brad Keselowski / Twitter

Note to crazy high-speed stock car racers: When you’re stuck in neutral during one of the world’s most famous Sprint Cups, grab your phone and hold forth on Twitter. That’s what NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski did during the Daytona 500 on Monday night after a fiery crash, boosting his follower count from about 65,000 to over 200,000.

Last night’s Daytona 500 was anything but normal. For starters, it was postponed from Sunday to Monday due to bad weather, and then — early in the race — driver Juan Pablo Montoya hurtled into a safety vehicle packing some 200 gallons of jet fuel, summoning a fireball so large it blackened the track and shut down the race for over an hour (thankfully, neither of the drivers was seriously hurt).

(PHOTOS: A Half-Century of the Daytona 500)

And that’s when Keselowski did what any social-media-savvy person would: He pulled out his phone, snapped pictures and posted them to his Twitter account.

“Fire! My view…” he wrote, attaching a picture looking over his dashboard at several inert vehicles as smoke rises from a glowing source ahead.

Call it the Tweet heard ’round the Twitter-sphere — that picture prompted fans to jump on Keselowski’s Twitter account, teasing him about texting and driving, but mostly seeming to enjoy the direct, inside line to a participant in a major live event.

Keselowski continued dispatching messages to fans and answering pithy questions as his follower count surged from about 65,000 to nearly 200,000 just a few hours later, when the fire was quashed and racing resumed. And then he snapped a shot of the crash spot, post-cleanup.

No word on whether Keselowski was texting while driving (he almost had to be, right?), but he apparently got into a late-race crash of his own, tweeting just after it happened.

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