Saturday, May 26, 2018
Sports

Teen spearheads driver for Josh Wise at Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. — Josh Wise made it to Talladega Superspeedway the new-fashioned way.

A movement started on the online site Reddit by a teen using the digital currency Dogecoin generated a sponsorship for Wise's No. 98 Ford in Sunday's Sprint Cup race.

Wise learned about the effort through another social media site, Twitter.

"At that time I didn't really know what Dogecoin was," Wise said Friday. "I had heard of Reddit, but I hadn't been on there much. It was easy to kind of dismiss it at first because it was like, 'Well yeah, they might have like 10 or 15 people want to help us raise sponsorship, but I doubt they're going to be able to raise the full amount to sponsor us.'

"Five or six days later they had met the goal of $55,000 to sponsor us and we had a sponsor for Talladega. It was pretty cool."

Denis Pavel, 16, of Niles, Ill., had noticed Wise's mostly unadorned black car having a strong run at Bristol before finishing 23rd. He thought of past fundraisers on Reddit and helped pave Wise's road to Talladega. Phil Parsons Racing also let Reddit users vote on a paint scheme for Wise's car.

"It's been so cool because having a crowd-funded car like that, we had a lot of excited people that contributed," said Wise, who adds that he now has become a regular on Reddit, engaging with fans and others.

Nationwide: Sam Hornish, making his season debut as part of a seven-race deal with Joe Gibbs Racing, earned the pole for today's race at Talladega with a lap of 186.783 mph. He led a JGR sweep on the 2.66-mile oval with Elliott Sadler (186.776) second and Darrell Wallace third.

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