Web movement helps send Wise to Talladega race

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 2, 2014 at 3:30 pm •  Published: May 2, 2014
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TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Josh Wise made it to Talladega Superspeedway the new-fashioned way.

A movement started on the online site Reddit by a 16-year-old fan using the digital currency Dogecoin generated a sponsorship for Wise's No. 98 Ford Fusion in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series 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."

Teen Denis Pavel 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 he'd seen 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," Wise said. "And also people that are part of Dogecoin and the Reddit community ... For a small team like us and for myself as a driver who's really trying to break out in the sport, it's been just a really awesome opportunity."