CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Roger Penske said Thursday he had no issue with Brad Keselowski using Twitter during the Daytona 500.
“I think that social media is here to stay. All of our businesses are involved in Twitter,” Penske said. “Brad is a creative young guy. I take my hat off to him and I think the … followers he picked up liked it and, to me, our sponsors were excited about it.”
Keselowski began tweeting during the two-hour red flag in Monday night’s race. He posted a picture of his view from his race car of the jet fuel fire that stopped racing.
He also answered fans’ questions, posted updates on the delay and let other drivers check the weather radar. He also tweeted minutes after wrecking out of the race.
Keselowski’s use of Twitter pushed his followers from roughly 65,000 at the start of the race to more than 200,000 by the end of the night.
Penske, who turned 75 last week, joked that he might even have to join the Twitter craze.
“I don’t Twitter myself,” he said, “but I guess I’m going to have to, maybe.”
He also speculated that NASCAR will likely create a rule to “maybe eliminate” Keselowski’s use of Twitter during a race. Keselowski had his cellphone in the pocket of his firesuit at the start of the race.
NASCAR officials said earlier this week Keselowski can keep his cellphone, and all drivers are encouraged to use social media.
Teams are prohibited from having recording devices in the car that are not for competition purposes, and two-way communication devices are supposed to be analog only. But NASCAR determined Keselowski did not violate any rules.
“NASCAR will not penalize Brad Keselowski for his use of Twitter during last night’s Daytona 500,” NASCAR said in a statement. “Nothing we’ve seen from Brad violates any current rules pertaining to the use of social media during races. As such, he won’t be penalized. We encourage our drivers to use social media to express themselves as long as they do so without risking their safety or that of others.”