What's the best way to use Twitter to help the NASCAR viewing experience?
If you asked most fans, they would probably give you one of three answers:
• Follow select individuals whose tweets you enjoy;
• Search the #NASCAR hashtag and see every single tweet related to the race;
• Use your own NASCAR-related Twitter list to view while the race takes place.
Each of those options has its disadvantages, though. If you follow only a select group of people, you might miss out on some great content. And if you view every piece of content, it's hard to find the tweets that really matter.
So what if there was a way to do all three of those things at once?
NASCAR and Twitter believe they have a solution. The two companies announced a first-of-its-kind partnership on Friday, in which Twitter will use a combination of the search algorithm and real-life editors to find the most interesting and relevant tweets during a race. The tweets will be pinned on a new Twitter.com NASCAR page that will launch the upcoming Pocono Raceway weekend (June 8-10).
"Twitter has never launched anything like this," said Omid Ashtari, who heads Twitter's Sports and Entertainment department. "This is absolutely the first time we've ever done this."
Ashtari cited NASCAR's ability to bring fans closer to the action as a major reason Twitter wanted to launch its new user experience around racing.
"To get this close to the action (at NASCAR races) is just unreal," said Ashtari, who has watched NASCAR races weekly for the past few seasons. "And that's what Twitter does – it brings you closer. This is an opportunity for us to help NASCAR – and for them to help us – bring the fans closer to the races."
When the new page launches, it will feature tweets from select people in the racing industry – drivers, spotters, teams, media, etc. – and has great potential to end up as the best way to follow a race.
How will Twitter decide which tweets are worthy of being featured on the NASCAR page? The company plans to hire people who "specifically come in with expertise around the sport," Ashtari said.
"(It will be) people who know and understand the content," he said. "We're not just going to stick some random person on it."
Both positive and negative tweets will be visible on the page, he said. If the tweet is one that "resonates," it could end up as featured content – even if it doesn't put NASCAR in a positive light.
"At the end of the day, we need to make sure it is best for our users," Ashtari said. "We're making a product that everybody can hopefully partake in and create a better Twitter experience for them."
The page will be located at Twitter.com/#NASCAR, but is not active yet (for now, it just redirects to @NASCAR's Twitter account).
RELATED: You can apply for the editorial position at Twitter and become the person who curates the NASCAR tweets. If you get the job hit the big time, don't forget the little people. The job posting can be found here.