Thursday, December 14, 2017
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.

Comments
Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

UPDATE, 4:02: It doesn't sound like the Rays and Cardinals will be making a deal today, Derrick Goold writing for the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Cardinals execs "leave the Walt Disney Dolphin resort with good feel for what Tampa Bay would be willin...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the Lightning defenseman.They both were picked in the top-10 of the 2016 NHL Draft, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in three w...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Inspiring veteran LHP Jonny Venters and intriguing prospect 1B/OF Joe McCarthy are among 13 players invited to major-league spring training camp with the Rays.Others coming as a result of signing minor-league contracts with invites are: RHP R.J. Alan...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
‘Inside the NBA’ crew to call holiday game

‘Inside the NBA’ crew to call holiday game

The Inside the NBA studio team will call a Christmas night game in Los Angeles along with its other usual duties, Turner Sports announced Thursday.Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson will be at Staples Center for the Lake...
Updated: 1 hour ago
USF’s Nigel Harris eager for chance with hometown Bucs

USF’s Nigel Harris eager for chance with hometown Bucs

When Nigel Harris chose where to play college football, he wanted to stay home in Tampa at USF. And now, after playing for the Chargers and Giants as an NFL rookie, he's grateful for the chance to again prove himself in Tampa as the newest member of ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

What follows below is a ranking of all 32 NFL teams. To build this list, we consulted five objective measures of team strength: Pro Football Reference’s Simple Rating System, Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average ratings...
Updated: 3 hours ago
NFL Week 15: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

NFL Week 15: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

Week 15 starts and ends with disappointment — a Thursday night meeting of two of the more disappointing teams (Denver at Indianapolis) and a Monday night game that once had held high hopes locally (Atlanta at Tampa Bay). Once.Here's our picks f...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Captain’s Corner: Drop in gulf water temperature means it’s sea trout time

The gulf temperature has dropped significantly since our first real cold front last week. One day the water was in the mid 70s, then after the front, it fell to the low 60s. That caused speckled sea trout to become a reliable target. Redfish have bee...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Former USF star Courtney Williams makes national team pool

Former USF star Courtney Williams makes national team pool

Former USF women's basketball sensation Courtney Williams is one significant step closer to becoming an Olympian.Williams, who just completed her first full season with the WNBA's Connecticut Sun, is among 29 players who have been chosen for the 2017...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

The Rays lost RHP Burch Smith in Thursday's Rule 5 draft but were happy to see him get an opportunity in Kansas City.They also were pleased to hang on to C Nick Ciuffo, who was left exposed but not selected.Smith, 27, was acquired from the Padres as ...
Updated: 4 hours ago