If you’re a sprint car fan on Twitter, you’ve probably heard of the Knoxville Moths… and not just the ones that come out late at night at the racetrack.
The owner of the account wished to remain anonymous, but since one, foggy evening at Knoxville, the twitter account has become a flagship follow for the racing community.
Meet the real Knoxville Moths
The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series rolled into Knoxville Raceway for their lone stop at the famous track during the 2015 season.
After slight misting pushed back the start time of the event, the cars eventually got rolling late into the night.
Around 3:00 a.m., fog started to roll into Knoxville, and the feature race was cut short after 17 laps.
That night, however, was the night the twitter account came to be. A plethora of moths were inhabiting the racetrack and were more than noticeable under the spotlights.
“It went from perfect visibility to almost nothing,” he said. “I thought the VA was on fire. There’s all these moths [around] and I thought ‘hmm, that’s something.’”
The owner of the account was already into racing as well as social media.
It was just tough for him to gain a following.
“I had kind of funny and poignant things to say about racing and I’m kind of a nobody in the racing world so I never got a lot of traction through a personal twitter account.”
It was around the same time that @nascarcasm and @TheOrangeCone were gaining a big following by racing fans on twitter.
“I admire what they did and thought ‘well, I’ll try this moth thing and say some funny stuff and go from there.”
The Moths account was eventually created and as time has gone on it has grown.
A big part behind the success of the account it is the absence of controversial topics and strong personal opinions.
“I try to emulate things that [those accounts do],” he said. “[They’re] never controversial. There’s enough toxic and controversial stuff out there. I’m not looking to add to that. [It’s] not that I don’t have my own opinions about the world and racing, but people need a break from that.”
When seeing interactions from those accounts, each one has the thing that almost makes them click.
For @TheOrangeCone, it’s people taking pictures of usually knocked-over cones and the owner of that account making a partied-too-hard joke.
@Nascarcasm has a plethora of pagoda pictures in his house.
And, obviously, the moths get their share of the spotlight.
“Any time anybody gets a moth in their life, I hear about it,” he said. “It’s cool, I love it.”
Over time the account has grown into one that also highlights the town that is Knoxville, Iowa – even when there isn’t racing going on.
“With living here, I’ve got pride in the city. It just so happens a lot of the things that go on in the city are intertwined with racing. I try to link them as much as possible, but also show people ‘Hey, even without a racetrack, we’ve got a lot going on here.’”
The owner of the account didn’t start in Knoxville, in fact he only moved their 10 years ago.
Like many who are already stationed there, he was already a sprint car fan.
“I had some family reasons that brought me here over a decade ago,” he said. “I was a big racing fan long before that and I got lucky enough to land here as the place I would live.”
His account now sits at nearly 4600 followers and many have asked for merchandise, but he doesn’t want to get in the way.
“I’m not trying to make money off of it,” he said. “There’s so many places to spend money at Knoxville. I’d rather have them buying driver t-shirts. People make their living off of them.”
There’s a chance he’ll make t-shirts or something along the same lines at some point down the road, but one thing is for certain:
Don’t expect a follow back any time soon from the Moths. The account is following 410 accounts right now and I think sprint car fans would say it’s the perfect amount.