DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Brad Keselowski gained a lot of notoriety and over 100,000 Twitter followers during last year's Daytona 500 when he posted a picture from inside of his car during a red flag period of during the event. NASCAR has since updated its rules to include a provision that bans using smartphones from inside the car but that's not stopping Keselowski from interacting with fans during Sunday's Great American Race.
Keselowski's sponsor, Miller Lite have begun an initiative that will support the defending Sprint Cup Series champion by helping him tweet during races during the upcoming season. During each race, members of Miller's social media team will be listening to Brad as he drives and will tweet his exact words from the @MillerLite twitter feed.
Each tweet that is tagged with the #2Tweets hashtag will be a direct quote from Keselowski.
While Keselowski will not be able to directly interact with fans like he did last season, Keselowski will still be able to send messages to his fans while under caution. For example, Keselowski could come over the radio and say, "tell the fans to get a cold Lite ready for when we win this race." That quote will be transcribed and delivered to the fans.
Miller is hoping to get ahead of the curve and set the new trend for how NASCAR drivers and sponsors work together in social media, according to Miller Lite Associate Brand Manager, Dilini Fernando. But more importantly, the initiative is about giving its driver a new outlet to connect with fans during a race.
"Everyone knows that Brad loves twitter, but the one place he can't tweet from is the driver's seat,
Fernando said. "As his sponsor, Miller Lite is stepping in and tweeting for him. When he feels like sending a message to the Twitterverse, the "@MillerLite" account will send out the tweet with the hashtag, #2Tweets."
During Daytona 500 media day last week, Keselowski explained that social media had become a part of his persona and that he would be more disappointed than his fans if he had to walk away from it. While NASCAR is not stopping him from tweeting altogether, this is a unique opportunity for him to remain active from behind the steering wheel.
"I would say social media has developed into part of my persona without a doubt," Keselowski said. "I enjoy it probably more than our fans do. It is a little bit selfish in nature of how I look at it but I am just glad everyone else enjoys it too."
Keselowski will start 15th in Sunday's Daytona 500. The green flag is schedule to drop at 1:29 p.m. EST (TV, FOX).