- NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski had 185,000 followers in two hours
- Keselowski posted photo of Juan Pablo Montoya's crash into a safety vehicle
- Keselowski then got into a wreck of his own after the race resumed
When the Daytona 500 ran into a protracted delay following an explosion and fire on the track Monday night, NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski did what any social media addict would: grabbed his phone and began posting status updates to Twitter.
Then he gained more than 100,000 followers in less than two hours.
Keselowski's fellow driver Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into a safety vehicle mid-race. The collision and jet fuel — the safety vehicle reportedly holds 200 gallons of jet kerosene — sparked a huge ball of fire, although both vehicles' drivers appeared to avoid serious injury.
The race was halted. From his spot in the racecar traffic jam, Keselowski sent this tweet to his (at the time) less than 85,000 followers.
More than an hour later, the race resumed. Keselowski's follower count topped 185,000.
Keselowski's initial tweet set off a hysteria in the sports Twittersphere, and triggered a set of funny exchanges between him and his fans. Keselowski then passed the continued delay with a steady stream of tweets updating and reacting to the accident and to-be-continued race.
Eventually, the Daytona 500 got underway again, and Keselowski passed the message on to his swollen follower count by retweeting NASCAR's senior vice president Steve O'Donnell's message: "Alright. Run jet quickly over area-drivers strapped in. Will run some caution laps and make sure we are good. Thanks for patience!"
Earlier, Keselowski had retweeted fan Jessica Lynn Burkett, who spoke for pretty much everyone when she posted: "So we have a Monday night #NascarPrimetime #daytona500 race, jet dryer blow up and @keselowski tweeting from his car.... #AWESOMENESS!!!"
Keselowski then got into a wreck of his own after the race resumed. No word whether it was a case of tweeting-while-driving, but he did post another message to his account minutes after his crash.