RELATED: Complete race recap | Full race results | Series standings
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he always figured he would eventually join the “Twitterverse,” the social media world that provides users with the ability to post comments and photos instantaneously with other followers.
But it wasn’t until the Hendrick Motorsports driver won Sunday night’s Daytona 500, his second career win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ premier event, that he officially launched his @DaleJr handle on the social media platform Twitter.
“I thought it would be after an event like winning the championship or Daytona 500, so it just felt natural last night to go ahead and kick it off,” Earnhardt Jr. said Monday morning during the annual Daytona 500 champion’s breakfast at Daytona International Speedway.
“We had 200,000 followers without one tweet, so I figured they’d been waiting around for something.”
By breakfast, Earnhardt Jr. had posted a total of three tweets, including a “selfie” of himself standing in front of his late father’s statue outside DIS. Dale Earnhardt, a seven time series champion, died here at Daytona as a result of injuries sustained in a last-lap crash of the 2001 Daytona 500.
“Look who I ran into at the Daytona Experience. Dad’s Happy! #2XDaytona500Champ” Earnhardt Jr. tweeted.
Other photos were of Earnhardt Jr. in Victory Lane with the Harley J. Earl trophy as well as a photo of his winning race car on display in the Daytona Experience.
By Monday morning, Earnhardt Jr.’s list of Twitter followers had reached nearly 360,000.
Fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Danica Patrick recently eclipsed the 1 million mark. That’s nearly twice as many as the next Cup driver.
“I’ve been around on social media before and have smaller platforms that me and my friends fool with,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I just felt like I was going to join Twitter sooner or later and just didn’t know when. But it’s becoming such a big part of our lives and such a big part of our exposure in support of our partners.
“My teammate Jimmie (Johnson) has been putting a lot of pressure on me … ‘you need to join, you need to join.’ He kind of leads the way and sets the standard with how a driver would use social media to benefit him and his partners. So I’ve got a great guy to lean on when I’ve got questions and what have you. I’m having fun with it.”
Johnson, a six-time Cup champion, has more than 540,000 followers on Twitter.