Danica Patrick is now NASCAR's biggest star? Based on her stellar NASCAR performances to date, Danica Patrick is now NASCAR's biggest star. Nothing against Danica Patrick personally, because it is not only her, but something is terribly wrong with a sport when the best athletes are not the biggest stars, like in all other sports. This is a dilemma racing must address if it is to be sustainable.
Here is the full top 35 of the ever-growing list of NASCAR-related tweeters, ranked by number of followers (The rules: Only drivers, crew members, owners and wives/girlfriends/family members are eligible; drivers who have accounts in their names such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman and Sam Hornish Jr. but do not tweet for themselves are not eligible. The list does not include public relations, sponsor representatives and media).
1 (1 last month). Danica Patrick (@danicapatrick): 161,075 followers – "It's not my fault" that she's at the top of the Twitter rankings this month.
2 (2). Juan Pablo Montoya (@jpmontoya): 147,798 – Has Montoya's worldwide appeal slowed? We're not sure why he isn't gaining as many followers as he used to.
3 (3). Nelson Piquet Jr. (@nelsonpiquet): 118,056 – Notice a theme here? The top three drivers are not traditionally from NASCAR. They gained huge followings elsewhere before trying stock-car racing.
4 (4). Kevin Harvick (@kevinharvick): 40,437 – The first NASCAR-only driver to top 40,000 followers. Not bad, considering he got a relatively late start compared to wife DeLana.
5 (5). Michael Waltrip (@mw55): 39,647 – No wonder this guy continues to pile up the sponsors. He appeals to many different types of race fans.
6 (6). Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne): 34,431 – Where will the dude we're calling "L.L. Cool K" end up next year? He certainly isn't giving any hints via Twitter.
7 (7). Kenny Wallace (@kenny_wallace): 29,978 – Only gained 700 followers this month, allowing Denny Hamlin to close on his back bumper.
8 (8). Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin): 29,112 – The #TeamDenny hashtag on Twitter was revived after Hamlin's All-Star incident with teammate Kyle Busch. Will they play nice if Busch passes him in followers?
9 (9). Elliott Sadler (@elliott_sadler): 27,234 – Campaign for All-Star fan vote via Twitter fell just short, losing out to Carl Edwards.
10 (11). Kyle Busch (@kylebusch): 24,398 – Some jokester on Twitter has made "Old Kyle" and "New Kyle" Twitter accounts, but the "Real Kyle" has cracked the top 10 on this list for the first time.
11 (10). DeLana Harvick (@delanaharvick): 23,356 – Felt bad about her dropping from the Twitter rankings top 10 for the first time ever until pictures she tweeted from the Stanley Cup Finals made us jealous.
12 (12). Jamie McMurray (@jamiemcmurray): 22,137 – Having a career year requires a clear head and Twitter feed, so McMurray reduced the clutter by unfollowing all media members.
13 (NR). Narain Karthikeyan (@narainracing): 20,171 – The F1-turned-Truck Series driver is now eligible for the list, and wisely didn't include his hard-to-spell last name in his Twitter ID.
14 (13). Bobby Labonte (@bobby_labonte): 18,068 – Dropped a spot thanks to Karthikeyan's arrival, and could soon be passed by Ricky Carmichael.
15 (14). Ricky Carmichael (@rickycarmichael): 17,934 – Revived his challenge to Chad Ochocinco, but advised the NFL star to try racing him in a Truck instead of a bike.
16 (15). Scott Speed (@scottspeed): 15,462 – Attended a tweetup before the Coke 600, signing autographs for fans and posing for pictures along with wife Amanda.
17 (16). Martin Truex Jr. (@martintruexjr56): 14,119 – Could number of Philadelphia Flyers-related tweets approach number of "NAPA Know How" commercial airings?
18 (18). Brian Vickers (@brianlvickers): 13,157 – Was in the news for unfortunate reasons during the month of May, but received outpouring of support via social media.
19 (17). Max Papis (@maxpapis): 12,550 – Fans enjoyed seeing Papis attend his first-ever tweetup at Darlington along with wife Tati.
20 (19). Robby Gordon (@robbygordon): 11,060 – Heading to Baja this week for some desert racing. Will he have cell phone reception to tweet?
21 (21). Greg Biffle (@gbiffle): 8,860 – Recently added Twitter to his phone, which allows him to provide more updates.
22 (20). Colin Braun (@colinbraun): 8,834 – Made an appearance at the Roush Fenway tweetup during Roush's fan day.
23 (22). Krissie Newman (@krissienewman): 8,547 – A New Jersey Devils fan, Ryan Newman's wife has been anti-Philly while most others in the NASCAR tweeting contingent seem pro-Flyers.
24 (23). AJ Allmendinger (@ajdinger): 8,474 – Inspiring Dover run seemed to back up his tweet pledging to give it his all.
25 (24). Samantha Sarcinella (@samsarcinella): 7,568 – The future Mrs. Kyle Busch seems to be gaining followers faster than some drivers.
26 (25). Steve Wallace (@stevewallace66): 6,812 – Tweeted "Jeff burton is my new hero" when Burton yelled at Kyle Busch following the Coke 600.
27 (26). Brad Keselowski (@keselowski): 6,503 – Gaining on Wallace in followers, can Keselowski make the pass this month?
28 (27). Amanda Speed (@amanda_speed): 6,342 – Slowed a bit from her torrid pace in April, but still picking up more than 100 new followers per week.
29 (28). David Ragan (@david_ragan): 5,657 – Was a delight for fans at Roush Fenway tweetup, including for one female follower who nearly swooned at the very sight of the UPS driver.
30 (29). Kelly Bires (@kellybires): 5,047 – Still looking for a full-time ride after being released from JR Motorsports, but finished 11th at Richmond with Braun Racing.
31 (30). T.J. Majors (@tjmajors): 4,795 – Followers sent congratulations to Majors last month after he tweeted news of his baby girl's arrival.
32 (31). Justin Allgaier (@j_allgaier12): 4,669 – Could be in the spotlight more this month since there will be fewer Cup drivers running in the Nationwide Series.
33 (32). Michael McDowell (@mc_driver): 4,274 – Responded to tweets about "official" reasons for having to start-and-park by tweeting, "NASCAR gets made (mad) when I tell them that the funding fell off the car."
34 (34). Landon Cassill (@landoncassill): 3,168 – Made another brief NASCAR appearance for JR Motorsports but then dropped off the upcoming schedule again.
35 (35). Joe Nemechek (@frontrowjoe87): 3,154 – Asked fans to keep him in this list's top 35 this month, and it worked: Spotter Mike Calinoff's fall from the rankings left Front Row Joe in the final spot.
Honorable mention (other eligible Twitterers with at least 1,000 followers):
Aric Almirola (@aric_almirola): 3,112
* Mike Calinoff (@mikecalinoff): 3,017
Ryan Truex (@rtruex00): 2,915
Regan Smith (@regan_smith_): 2,861
Max Siegel (@max_siegel): 2,848
Brad Coleman (@bradccoleman): 2,751
Jordan Fish (@jordan_fish): 2,568
Mary Lou Hamlin (@11mommalou): 2,561
Trevor Bayne (@tbayne99): 2,377
Sherry Pollex (@sherrypollex): 2,356
Travis Kvapil (@traviskvapil): 2,238
Ashley Allgaier (@ashleyallgaier): 2,175
David Gilliland (@dgilliland2010): 2,136
Brendan Gaughan (@brendan62): 2,091
Lynne Allmendinger (@drlynnechiro): 2,004
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (@stenhousejr): 1,822
Ron Hornaday (@ronhornaday): 1,806
Brian Scott (@bscottracing): 1,746
Joel Edmonds (@16_spotter): 1,650
Matt Crafton (@mcraftonracing): 1,640
Connie Freydell (@cfreydell): 1,621
Tati Papis (@tatipapis): 1,394
James Buescher (@jamesbuescher): 1,360
Ty Norris (@tymwr): 1,336
Jennifer Jo Cobb (@jenjocobb): 1,241
Marc Davis (@nascarmdavis): 1,225
Rocky Ryan (@rocky_ryan): 1,177
Joey Meier (@12spotter): 1,152
Justin Lofton (@jlracing): 1,149
Eddie Pardue (@eddiepardue): 1,135
Jason White (@jasonwhite23): 1,132
Steve Arpin (@stevearpin): 1,110
Shane Wilson (@cupcrewchief): 1,062
Tommy Baldwin (@tommy_baldwin): 1,061
Keith Rodden (@kmrodden): 1,052
JJ Yeley (@jjyeley1): 1,019
Brett Griffin (@19spotter): 1,015
* – Dropped out of top 35