Sophia Timba | August 21, 2023

Post from the Pitstop

Lifelong NASCAR fan, Elijah Burke ’18, leveraged his viral video to become the social media manager for RFK Racing.

Elijah Burke '18, social media manager at RFK Racing

Most college students wonder how they will land their first job after graduation. Maybe an internship leads to an opportunity or the network they built pays of… or their video goes viral and they dive headfirst into their career.

On graduation day, lifelong NASCAR fan Elijah Burke ’18 posted a parody post-race interview on social media. The views on his video skyrocketed and Burke was contacted by a handful of companies inviting him to apply for an open position.

Elijah Burke Elijah Burke


Within a month, Burke was offered a job in NASCAR.

“I had absolutely no jobs lined up before that video went viral,” Burke recalled. “It was kind of a miracle.”

Burke is the social media manager for RFK Racing, a two-driver team that competes in the NASCAR Cup Series, operating multiple dynamic social media accounts every day.

“It’s very ironic that my current job in social media was kickstarted by a viral social media video,” Burke said. “When I look back on it, I spent maybe seven or eight years of my life on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook understanding how those platforms work because I was consuming all those years as a fan.”

Burke’s responsibilities include capturing, designing, and posting content surrounding the team’s drivers, cars, races, and brand every day. When creating content, it’s imperative that he maintains the interest of not just the fans, but of current and potential sponsors.

“Without sponsors, this team doesn’t exist. They’re literally the lifeblood of our sport,” Burke said. “We need to make sure we’re delivering the absolute highest value to them every week, and social media content is a big part of that.”

Burke still leans on skills that he learned from his classes at SUNY Brockport every day.

“One class that really stood out was a communication class,” Burke said. “It really helped me round the edges of stuff I didn’t know I’d be encountering in a real workspace. Things as simple as how to write an email in a professional manner, which really does make a difference.”

“I’m sitting here with my dream job now, five years after I graduated, and I don’t have any regrets.”
Elijah Burke

Burke still remembers the first race he ever saw at six years old in Watkins Glen, NY, and how easy it can be to forget how amazed his younger self would be to know what he is doing today.

“I was hooked. I grew up watching all the races on TV, collecting all the merchandise and the diecast cars,” Burke recalled. “Sometimes we take it for granted. We get caught up in the day to day.”

From watching the team build racecars to traveling around the country to races – there is nothing else Burke would rather be doing.

“I’m sitting here with my dream job now, five years after I graduated, and I don’t have any regrets.”