Tony Stewart has joined Twitter! Sing hallelujah, NASCAR social media fans!
NASCAR's most outsized personality has finally decided to connect directly with his fans, and it could be one of the most amazing celebrity Twitter feeds around. If Stewart in fact does give his followers an insight into his ridiculously cool life, he'll be a must-follow. (He may also bring down the law/NASCAR brass on his head, but that's a risk we're willing to take.)
As of Monday morning, Stewart had tweeted exactly five times, messages of support and race updates ... fairly straightforward stuff. His first photo was an awww moment for his fans:
Hey, wait a second. WHO TOOK THE PICTURE?
Anyway, as long as Stewart approaches this honestly, and the feed doesn't get overwhelmed with "Please RT #sponsor #sponsor #sponsor for a chance to win some Tony Stewart swag" nonsense, it'll be a lot of fun. It's a delicate balance, truth and commerce, but if anybody can straddle that see-saw, it's Stewart.
The model for holdout athletes in any sport leaping into Twitter has been Dale Earnhardt Jr., who spent years avoiding the social network. But after his Daytona 500 win earlier this year, Junior took the plunge, and his Twitter feed has instantly become one of the best celebrity follows around: funny, revelatory, interactive.
Will Stewart follow in Earnhardt's tire tracks? A big question is whether Stewart will be able to handle the torrents of negativity that Twitter brings. The idiots and the noise have effectively run Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray off Twitter, their feeds largely limited to generic congratulations of teammates and contest giveaways. Even Jimmie Johnson has gotten frustrated with the backseat drivers critiquing his performance. One can't imagine Stewart, who barbecues the media for dumb questions, will take too well to some clown from Alabama calling him out.
Stewart's leap means Carl Edwards is the only major driver without a Twitter presence. Given how cagey Edwards is even in the best of circumstances, it'd be a surprise if he starts exposing his private life on Twitter any time soon.