NASCAR Twitter Rankings: Danica Patrick Leads Summer 2011 Edition

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13: Professional race car driver Danica Patrick and singer Justin Bieber attend The 2011 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for ESPN)

The NASCAR Twitter Rankings are back after a five-month break, and though not much has changed in the top few spots (aside from the addition of Travis Pastrana), there are some notable moves:

Danica Patrick is still American auto racing's No. 1 Twitter personality. Though she's not at Justin Bieber levels (11.7 million followers) yet, no other race car driver in the United States can challenge Danica's Twitter following. 

Jeff Gordon made a big leap – up five spots – though he was still a somewhat new account in the previous rankings (March). The way he's picking up followers, he may pass Kevin Harvick within the next six months.

Kyle Busch now has more followers than his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin. The latter driver doesn't tweet as often since being fined $50,000 by NASCAR for Twitter comments in July 2010.

Jimmie Johnson had just started tweeting when the previous rankings were published and has now become one of NASCAR's top Twitterers, along with Brad Keselowski. That's propelled him to the No. 10 spot, and he'll soon pass the JGR tandem of Busch and Hamlin.

• The post-Daytona 500 bubble burst for Trevor Bayne. After picking up 40,000 new followers in the month after his season-opening victory, he's gained just 14,000 new followers in the five months since.

• Twitter pioneer DeLana Harvick remained the top non-driver on the list. She posted a significant pickup in followers (17,000) since the last rankings.

• Keselowski nearly doubled his follower count since the last rankings, thanks to his constant interaction with fans on Twitter.

• Matt Kenseth has gained 8,000 followers in two weeks since re-joining Twitter. He'll be in the top 35 by the time the next ratings are unveiled.

** A quick refresher on how we come up with these rankings: Drivers/team owners/spotters/wives are ranked by the number of total Twitter followers. Those not eligible for the rankings include media, public relations representatives, sponsors and drivers who don't tweet for themselves. **

The Summer 2011 NASCAR Twitter Rankings Top 35:

1 (1 in previous ranking). Danica Patrick (@danicapatrick): 402,940

2 (2). Juan Pablo Montoya (@jpmontoya): 369,763

3 (NR). Travis Pastrana (@travispastrana): 205,507

4 (3). Nelson Piquet Jr. (@nelsonpiquet): 175,075

5 (4). Kevin Harvick (@kevinharvick): 100,108

6 (11). Jeff Gordon (@jeffgordonweb): 81,485

7 (5). Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne): 79,765

8 (8). Kyle Busch  (@kylebusch): 76,594

9 (7). Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin): 72,172

10 (26). Jimmie Johnson (@jimmiejohnson): 70,197

11 (6). Michael Waltrip (@mw55): 68,954

12 (14). Ricky Carmichael (@rickycarmichael): 60,451

13 (9). Trevor Bayne (@tbayne21): 58,607

14 (13). DeLana Harvick (@delanaharvick): 57,685

15 (10). Elliott Sadler (@elliott_sadler): 54,167

16 (12). Kenny Wallace (@kenny_wallace): 52,103

17 (15). Bobby Labonte (@bobby_labonte): 34,219

18 (16). Martin Truex Jr. (@martintruexjr56): 34,183

19 (22). Brad Keselowski (@keselowski): 33,247

20 (18). Brian Vickers (@brianlvickers): 32,025

21 (17). Scott Speed (@scottspeed): 28,093

22 (21). Greg Biffle (@gbiffle): 26,348

23 (24). Samantha Busch (@samantha_busch): 24,231

24 (19). Max Papis (@maxpapis): 23,331

25 (20). Robby Gordon (@robbygordon): 22,448

26 (28). Joey Logano (@jlogano): 22,271

27 (23). AJ Allmendinger (@ajdinger): 21,383

28 (25). Krissie Newman (@krissienewman): 19,067

29 (27). David Ragan (@david_ragan): 17,222

30 (NR). Richard Childress (@rchildress3): 16,171

31. (NR). Austin Dillon (@austindillon3): 14,373

32 (29). Justin Allgaier (@j_allgaier): 14,096

33 (42). Kurt Busch (@kurtbusch22): 12,739

34 (32). Aric Almirola (@aric_almirola): 12,631

35 (NR). Ingrid Vandebosch (@ivandebosch): 12,458

Honorable mention (other NASCAR-related accounts with more than 5,000 followers):

Regan Smith (12,406); Amanda Speed (10,749); Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (10,559); Michael McDowell (10,353); Steve Wallace (10,319); Connie Montoya (9,785); Ron Hornaday (9,717); T.J. Majors (9,645); David Reutimann (8,822); Landon Cassill (8,596); Matt Kenseth (8,551); Ryan Truex (8,285); Joe Nemechek (8,091); Jennifer Jo Cobb (8,033); Kelly Bires (7,751); Brett Griffin (7,245); Travis Kvapil (6,930); Brendan Gaughan (6,840); JJ Yeley (6,551); Brian Scott (6,222); Sherry Pollex (6,008); Ashley Allgaier (5,681); David Gilliland (5,677); Matt Crafton (5,227).

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