The NASCAR circuit further engaged with social media today by making the number of followers a driver has on Twitter a major determining factor in the Sprint Cup points formula.
"We are adamant about keeping NASCAR in its place as the most accessible sport in the world," said NASCAR president Mike Helton. "As such, we are excited to be the first sport to make fan interaction a major part of deciding our championship. Football's '12th Man' is nothing versus Brad Keselowski's 220,000 Twitter followers."
The new Sprint Cup standings formula is as follows:
Twitter followers + Number of race wins = total Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth would have 78,256 points (78,255 Twitter followers + 1 race win), putting him far behind Keselowski with 224,836 points (224,836 points + 0 race wins). Danica Patrick is currently in 1st place under the new system with 543,776 points (543,776 points + 0 race wins).
"Not only does the new Twitter-based Sprint Cup formula put us ahead of the curve," said France. "It allows our more marketable, but less … I guess I'll say: 'good at driving' drivers, such as Danica and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., to actually compete for a championship."
Juan Pablo Montoya would be in second place behind Patrick with 492,260 Sprint Cup points (492,260 Twitter followers + 0 race wins), but he was docked half his points when he accidentally uploaded a virus to NASCAR's servers, crashing the entire system for more than two hours.