Jimmie Johnson's public relations representative, Kristine Curley, had been tweeting since last season under the Twitter handle @DoubleJ48.
But Johnson himself wasn't very interested in getting his own Twitter account, even though he knew in the back of his mind "that I needed to be more current."
He was willing to give it a shot, though, so when Curley set up Twitter on Johnson's phone before the recent Las Vegas race and told him, "Go," Johnson was suddenly off to the races.
Faster than anyone expected, Johnson was providing updates, replying to fans and ribbing his driver friends via tweets. Sharing the @DoubleJ48 account with Curley, Johnson would write "–JJ" after his tweets.
Soon, the tweets signed "–JJ" had all but taken over the account.
"I got involved and had some fun responding and replying; it's just a cool space," Johnson said Tuesday morning. "I kind of regret that I didn't start sooner, but look forward to making up for lost time."
Johnson previously had a Facebook page, but he said Twitter represented the "next level" in interacting with his fans.
Unfortunately, for the past few days, Johnson has been in the equivalent of the Twitter pits, fixing a flat tire.
Because Johnson had taken to tweeting so quickly, his representatives wanted to secure the @JimmieJohnson handle for the driver and leave Curley with her own account. But a mixup caused @DoubleJ48 to disappear, and in the meantime, a Johnson fan snatched up @DoubleJ48 to prevent someone else from taking the name.
Johnson's representatives have been working with Twitter to restore both, but Johnson said "it's taking much longer than we would have ever thought or hoped it would."
In the meantime, he said, he's calling it "Twittergate" and hopes to resume his tweeting in short order.
"We're in a bit of that limbo stage right now trying to get everything squared away," he said.