"We are hiring someone new,” said NASCAR's Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps. A big part of the job will be training an entire industry, from driver reps to driver teams to our own internal teams, on social."
No one is exempt, as veteran driver Mark Martin found out when his team boss Michael Waltrip presented him with a fait accompli
in terms of a Twitter account.
“I don't know about this,” was the 53-year-old driver's initial reaction, at first making it clear that he wasn't likely to tweet more than once a week. “I'm not what they call an early adapter to new technology."
A week on, and Martin was getting used to the idea. "I just like playing with it and talking to the fans," he ended up admitting after quickly amassing over 10,000 followers to his new Twitter account
. "I'd have never done it on my own. I thought just kids did it, but I've got people all ages following me now.
"Never thought I'd get into it, but it's kind of neat," he said. "I guess they've hooked me."
Mayfield continues with appeal
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield was last week back in the US Court of Appeals as he continued his legal action against NASCAR over the suspension handed down to him after a failed drug test in 2009.
NASCAR say that the test proved positive for methamphetamines, but Mayfield's legal team is protesting the suspension and claim that NASCAR Chairman Brian France - who was also present in court - had a vendetta against the driver.
Mayfield's original case was dismissed after it was ruled that the driver had waived his right to sue the sanctioning body as part of terms and conditions of his original driver contract with the series.
In the latest appeal hearing, Mayfield's attorneys argued that NASCAR acted in a willful and malicious manner in making the drug test results public. They are also seeking to introduce evidence that France ordered Mayfield be parked during the 2006 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as evidence of a vendetta by the CEO toward Mayfield.
"It simply didn't happen," said the series' attorney David Boies. As for making the drug test results positive: "Where somebody consents to have results of tests made public, they can't complain that the results are made public."
NASCAR has countered Mayfield's accusations by claiming that the former driver is simply trying to extort a settlement from them in order to pay off his mounting debts.