Wednesday, March 23, 2011

NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson joined Twitter last Tuesday, and in a little more than a week he's amassed 15,000 followers. Pretty good numbers, unless you're comparing him to Charlie Sheen (who garnered a Twitter record one million followers in a day). But you would never compare Jimmie to Charlie. Jimmie is a nice guy. And it shows in his tweets.

In just his third tweet, Jimmie said, "Thanks for the warm welcome everyone." As much as hard-core race fans might not like him or want him to change, the driver of the 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports is a genuinely nice guy. He's won the last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championships (the first to do so) and some fans and critics have asserted that such a nice champion is harming the sport. They long for the days of The Intimidator, the late Dale Earnhardt.

But I say kudos to Jimmie for proving that nice guys can finish first--five years in a row. Plus, he's got a hot wife (and a baby now eight months old).

Below, I've recapped some of Jimmie's notable nice-guy moments from his first week on Twitter:

  • On his second day tweeting, he thanks Lance Armstrong for helping him get "dialed in on Twitter." A few days later, Tony Hawk tweets that he "got a text today from @JimmieJohnson saying he recently joined Twitter & wanting advice."
  • A sports reporter asks Jimmie if the local NASCAR guys have found another great restaurant since one of their Charlotte faves (Il Posto Osteria) closed. He suggests Aria downtown.
  • A seemingly disgruntled tweeter compares Jimmie's 14,000 followers to Jeff Gordon's 45,000 followers and remarks "nuff said." To which Jimmie replies, "I've only been up a week, give me time."
  • Another angry tweeter says to Jimmie, "your cockiness is why I don't like you and will be the reason your weak fanbase crumbles one day." He replies, "Really???" Fellow NASCAR driver JJ Yeley comes to his defense, then says "Welcome to Twitter. People can be mean here." To which Jimmie replies, "If you're going to read the good, you need to read the bad. I think its funny."
  • When a female NASCAR fan from Bristol, Tennessee asks "what is with u nascar guys u won't talk back to the fans." Jimmie responds to her tweet with "not the case, just thousands of tweets to look through," in effect talking to her as she'd asked. And actually, the majority of his tweets so far have been responses to followers.

If you're a fan of Jimmie Johnson, following his Twitter page (@JimmieJohnson) will be a great place for you to see what he has going on, what he's doing around Charlotte--such as when he tweeted today that he was visiting a local school, and he plugs his TV appearances and new products like his upcoming video game that comes out this summer.

And I believe he'll be tweeting long after the Charlie Sheens of the world.


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