February 28, 2012

The Twitter 500

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Funny thing happened at the Daytona 500... well, more than one "funny" thing but, to make a long, long, long story short, the Daytona 500 was stopped and a Twitter race broke out.

What you see above is probably the first ever photograph tweeted by a race driver, from a race car, in the middle of a race.

The shot is from Brad Keselowsky who spent the interminable red flag period posting messages from the banks of Daytona. Twitter went nuts for hours, even the jet dryer truck got its own account!

The race? They went round and round, some crashed including Keselowsky and eventually someone won, who? Twitter.



  1. WTF? What is a racecar driver doing with a cellphone in the car??? (aside from Bruno doing it at a PR event http://youtu.be/Ly7v4UUaML0)

    Also, massive fail by the safety crew for trying to put out the jetdryer fire by aiming at leaking fuel at the bottom of the track. Of course it's going to keep coming!
    Eventually some pro firefighters get there and put out the source from below and on top.

  2. Now, along with the dome-cam, front and read bumper-cam, in-car cam, drivers will be required to carry a phone?

    The "Twitter me this" "Facebook me that" overkill during the broadcast was pretty funny.

    On another note, as far as I recall, data acquisition during a race (quali, practice) is verboten. From the book There Are Two Types Of Racers, Cheaters and Loosers, I wonder what kind of data acquisition can be done with an modern superphone? I am guessing that between the GPS, the accelerometers, gyros, and the like, a properly affixed phone should be better than nothing?

    1. Ha, I bet you that's exactly what the cell phone was doing in the car. A little data is better than no data...

    2. Yup, do I remember them mentioning drivers have special cradles for their phones put in the cars? why else but to use Harry's lap timer or some such? Good catch Anon.

  3. If guys in Nascar were using key fobs to actuate traction control a decade or so ago, I would bet any amount of money teams are using cell phones to acquire data.

    I Always get a laugh when I hear the drivers / fans say theres no traction control in the cars.

    I attended an automotive school and had several teachers who worked with some of the top teams back in the day. You wouldn't believe some of the stories and trouble people went through to gain that extra second.

    Count on a Nascar driver to be on his cell phone during a race.


  4. I can even see them using audio analysis for various audio measurements, like they do in F1...

    Gordon: Siri, how long Jimmy been running traction control?
    Siri: I am not sure I can answer that, Jeff.


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