Although most NASCAR fans were fixated on the drama involving championship contenders Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Shibes around the world were primarily concerned with tracking Josh Wise, a little-known driver who has consistently out-performed other drivers who have access to better equipment and more funding.
In an amazing display of coordination, the Dogecoin community raised enough funds to sponsor Josh Wise's car during the 2014 season. Sunday's race marked the Dogecar's fourth race in 2014. Previously, Wise's car featured the Dogecoin branding at the spring Talladega race, NASCAR's All-Star race, and the June event at Sonoma.
After the green flag had dropped at Talladega, the Dogecar got off to a strong start. By lap 4, Wise had climbed from 35th to the 20th. He shuffled back to the high-20s, where he remained until about lap 40, when he came down pit road for a green-flag pit stop.
Unfortunately, the Dogecar experienced some trouble during the pit stop, which shuffled the #98 back to the 42nd position on lap 44. Josh Wise's stroke of bad fortune soon turned worse. The leaders caught up to and passed the Dogecar, placing Josh Wise a lap down.
But soon, Wise caught a break. When the race's first caution flag came out on lap 60, Wise was the first car a lap down. According to NASCAR's "Lucky Dog" rule, the first car a lap down when the caution comes out gets a free pass to return to the lead lap. Because Wise was the first lapped car, he became the lucky dog--or in this case the "lucky Doge." After pitting under caution, Wise was running in 36th place.
Wise made good use of his free pass to return to the lead lap. He immediately began climbing through the ranks, and by lap 92 he was in 16th position. He cycled back a few positions over the next several laps, but at the halfway point he was still running in the top 20.
Wise managed to avoid several close calls over the next 80 laps. With 10 laps to go, Wise sat in 23rd position and was poised to make a run back into the top 20. But the run was not to be. Wise had fallen back to 27th when caution was called due to on-track debris.
Once racing resumed, several cars--including Chase contender Dale Earnhardt Jr.--crashed, but Wise got by clean. He pitted again so the Dogecar could get fresh tires for the final laps, but he was not able to make a run toward the front of the pack. Bad-boy Brad Keselowski took the checkered flag, and the Dogecar raced to a 28th-place finish..
Although Josh Wise and the Dogecar did not have a stellar finish, they emerged safely from the wild Talladega race and gave Dogecoin some nice screen-time on ESPN. Wise will regroup and try to improve his performance next week, but sadly, the Dogecar will not join him. Sunday marked the end of the Dogecar's 2014 run, but the Dogecoin community has already begun raising funds to sponsor the #98 for 2015. Similarly to this year's earlier fundraising effort, fans can purchase Dogecoin-branded Josh Wise gear through partner stores such as Provident Metals--a fellow Josh Wise sponsor. Profits from the purchases will go toward Dogecar sponsorships in the 2015 season.
What did you think about the Dogecar's day at Talladega? Comment below!
Images from Dogecoin, Tom Wilmoth, mooinblack and Shutterstock.