NASCAR gets a Social Network Site

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is spearheading the launch of Infield Parking, a social networking site for NASCAR fans. The cool thing about this one seems to be that they’ve got several drivers lined up to participate in advance of its launch:

Infield Parking is launching in concert with the start of the racing season. Nine drivers will be launching Infield Parking web pages this weekend in addition to Earnhardt Jr. They are Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Elliott Sadler, Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin and Shane Huffman. Many other NASCAR drivers will be launching pages of their own in the coming weeks.

They’re calling personal profiles “parking spaces” which I have to admit is kind of cute. Says Earndhardt:

“Infield Parking offers fans a cool new way to interact with drivers and the opportunity to connect with other fans around the world,” said Earnhardt Jr., president of Infield Parking. “During the season fans get to watch us race and see us at the track, but Infield Parking will give them a more personal level of access to the drivers and other fans through photos, blogs and video clips. “We came up with the idea for Infield Parking last year and it’s pretty cool to see everything come together as we launch it nationally. With today’s launch, I can’t wait to see the fan response.”

Plus the site’s got a nice looking front page and right there Dale asks for “your help” in providing feedback to make the site the best it can be.

They built a NASCAR track not too far from where I live a few years ago and man, if you ever want to see fandom at its most passionate, check out that scene. For one, what was rural farmland is now a shopping mecca and it is not overstating to say that this track (and the Cabelas and Nebraska Furniture Mart that followed) have transformed the wealth of Wyandotte County, Kansas. For two — and this is the part that gets me all wowwed even though it’s not my scene — drive by on any race weekend and there’s an instant town that’s gone up of RVs belonging to fans who seem to be doing a Grateful Dead like instant community construction project wherever NASCAR may go. It’s clearly a lifestyle as much as a hobby for an awful lot of people, so I suspect this site is going to work out well for them.

MOG, the music social networking site, also makes a point of foregrounding the pages of the musicians who are on there. MySpace has, of course, been working this angle since its inception. If the celebs are really in there nteracting and making things available that fans can’t get elsewhere, then being there becomes a must for the die-hard fan. Add on to that the kind of passionate fan community where fans have already built deep networks of personal connections over the phenomenon, and unless someone blows it, it oughta be gold.

Comments (1) to “NASCAR gets a Social Network Site”

  1. Thank you for giving us such an awesome review.