Reddit, Dogecoin power Josh Wise into Sprint All-Star Race via fan vote
Josh Wise bucks the odds with the help of the Internet and the magic of Dogecoin to win the Sprint Fan Vote. He beats out all others, including Danica Patrick, to land spot on the All-Star Race.
The No. 98 Dogecoin/Reddit.com Ford, driven by Josh Wise, is headed to compete in Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race after Wise won the Sprint Fan Vote.
Chris Graythen / Getty Images North America
By Jay PennellCharlotte, N.C.
There was certainly a possibility, but it was no doubt a long shot.
Yet in an amazing upset, Josh Wise won the Sprint Fan Vote to earn his entry into the Sprint All-Star Race, beating the likes of Danica Patrick.
Wise, who finished 18th in Friday night's Sprint Showdown, did not transfer into Saturday night's main event by racing his way in, but thanks to millions of Internet users he will be part of Saturday night's main event.
"I'm still trying to wrap my head around it," Wise said. "This is huge for me and our team. Really it started with a 16-year-old kid posting something on Reddit.com about some good runs that we had had, and for whatever reason this huge, awesome community just got behind us, and everyone knows about them raising money to sponsor us at Talladega, and then it was on to the Fan Vote.
"I'm just super thankful to be a part of it, really," he added. "It's been a pretty cool experience."
Race winner Clint Bowyer didn't even know what Reddit was before doing a chat earlier in the year, but now understands the strength of the online community.
"I think it speaks volumes," Bowyer said. "That Fan Vote is a cool thing, and for you, your community, to beat Danica out is saying something, so good job."
With the popularity of Patrick, Wise understood it was going to be a longshot to win the vote, but knew the possibility was there.
"There are 110 million people that regularly use Reddit, and there was a large portion of them that knew about this and were a part of it, I felt like," he said. "So it was just one of those things that you didn't know if people were just telling you they were voting for you or how many times they're voting or whatever. I thought it was definitely a possibility."
While this was huge for Wise and his Phil Parsons Racing team, he believes this online movement has opened the door to a host of new potential NASCAR fans.
"This is kind of a big deal for our sport, I felt like, because it's a lot of young kids and people from around the world," Wise said. "I've had the chance to interact with a lot of them, and there's a lot of people who had never watched a NASCAR race who have now watched several, so it's a pretty cool deal."
Following the announcement, social media exploded as some fans celebrated the fact their efforts paid off, while others questioned their techniques.
"I don't necessarily care what people say about it," he said. "Yeah, I mean, people vote and the person with the most votes wins, so however you play the game."
Aside from the initial joy of earning a spot through the Sprint Fan Vote, racing in Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race also comes with a healthy purse winning. One of the smaller teams in NASCAR garage, Wise said the winnings from Saturday night's race will help the team buy sticker tires when they want to run competitively in the future.