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OK, this is a crazy story. Of all people, Josh Wise came away with the fan vote in the Sprint Showdown and will be competing in his first Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday. Wise finished 18th in the Sprint Showdown, and his fan vote win was a huge upset over popular riders Danica Patrick and Austin Dillon.
This all happened thanks to the Internet. The Dogecoin community on Reddit became interested in Wise's story and raised $55,000 to sponsor him in Talladega. Then, they launched an aggressive online campaign to vote the unheralded racer into the Sprint All-Star Race. As reported by Bob Pockrass on Sporting News, Wise was overwhelmed by the support and excited about what it means for the future of NASCAR.
I am still trying to wrap my head around it," Wise said. "This is huge for me and our team. Really this started with a 16-year-old kid posting something on Reddit.com about some good runs that we had and for whatever reason this huge, awesome community got behind us."
Wise, who drives for Phil Parsons Racing and is 36th in the Cup standings for the underfunded organization, obviously was thankful for the support.
"This is kind of a big deal for our sport because it is 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. There's a lot of people had never watched a NASCAR race who have now watched several.