Recently I had the privilege of speaking to Josh Wise, driver of the Dogecar. Wise will be racing at Aaron's 499 today, May 4th. I can say from talking to him both on reddit and over the phone that he's a nice and funny guy, and that he's extremely active with the Dogecoin community. If your question wasn't answered, you can check one of his two AMA'S (Ask Me Anything) on reddit, or message him on reddit. Here's the interview:
Did you know anything about Bitcoin or Dogecoin or any other digital currency before you heard about the possibility of a sponsorship?
No, I hadn't. I had probably heard of the term Bitcoin but didn't really know much about it. So, it was all new to me. But when I heard about what was happening, I kind of dove in pretty quick and tried to educate myself as much as I could as quick as I could.
What were you thinking when you heard about the potential sponsorship from Dogecoin?
Well at first I was like, I didn't even necessarily think it was gonna be possible. You know it's a pretty big feat that everybody pulled off to raise as much money as was raised. At first I appreciated their thought and their effort that everyone was bringing into it. But I was a little bit dismissive you know because I really didn't think it was gonna happen. But then I kinda saw everything beginning to materialize and the momentum it was gaining, it became apparent pretty quick that there was a big chance of it happening. It was pretty amazing the whole process, really.
What would have happened if you didn't end up getting a sponsor before Talladega?
The level that we're able to race at is based on what kind of sponsorship we can get. You know, if we can get one-off sponsorships – we've had a few small sponsors this year, and then you know, the Dogecoin sponsorship here at Talladega. Those really kinda keep our head above water as much as anything else you know? So it's like the more of those we can get the better our program can grow you know what I mean? The less we get the harder it's going to be for us. You know, it's just amazing we can generate sponsorship. It'll just make our team stronger.
On your AMA [(Ask Me Anything)] on reddit a few weeks ago you said that you weren't sure how you were going to describe Dogecoin when asked, but do you know now?
Yeah, I guess I get asked that, and I guess it's hard for people to grasp if you tell them it's an electronic-geared currency. So basically I tell people that it's like email for cash. It's like an electronic currency. So the big question people ask is, "So how do you get it?" you know what I mean. And that one's hard to explain because I haven't mined but I tell them that you can mine it, you can buy it. It's really kind of interesting because it's so hard for people to wrap their heads around – including myself, like, you know I'd say I have a better understanding at this point. But at the beginning I was asking the same questions.
So, throughout the past few weeks, what's your impression of the Dogecoin community?
Ah man it's been really cool. I was actually talking to my wife last night about how much fun I've had just how interacting and the excitement's been pretty cool. So I'm gonna be sad to see it pass, like I'll probably still stay engaged in the community just because I've had so much fun and just enjoyed it, and I've enjoyed Dogecoin and the spirit of in general.
Ok, so we're gonna move onto the NASCAR part of it. So, what are some of the challenges you've had in setting up the car for the Talladega race, because you have so many less, a lot less staff than other large teams?
Yeah, for us it's been mostly about making sure we get a head start on it, you know? Being limited on people, we didn't really have what we needed for our shop. So we got started on it a couple of weeks early really to make sure we could do it right. But other than there hasn't been a whole lot of challenges. We're riding the same car we rode at Daytona. It had a little bit damage which you just kinda get in those types of races. So it had to be fixed and repaired a little bit. But other than that everything's coming together pretty smoothly.
Where did the #98 come from, your number?
You know what, that's just Phil Parson's number. And I'm not too sure, you'd have to ask him.
How do you think you'll do this weekend at Talladega?
Well, I mean Talladega's a real wild card on the NASCAR circuit. So it's hard to say I think we're gonna do anything, but I think that we're certainly capable of a top 20, and that's a little bit of my expectations. If we have a decent day and we have a track position in the top 20 that's realistic. And you know a good day or a great day would be a top 10, and obviously it would be incredible if we won. But, there's a chance of that as well. I think that going into a race like Talladega you have to execute at different stages of the race to make sure you're in position to even win. It's even tough to just go in and say "I'm gonna race hard to win". Really the race isn't won until the white flag. You could be running between 10th and 20th and win the race on the last lap because of the way things work out.
Ok, are you gonna meet any of the fans who are camping out at Talladega to support you and to educate people about Dogecoin?
Yeah, absolutely. I'd like to actually meet some people that are gonna be there from Dogecoin as well. But something that's pretty unique about NASCAR is the fan interaction, you know? So we're interacting with fans all weekend. So I'm sure I'm gonna be talking to people about Dogecoin all weekend.
And someone wanted to know what kind of gas you use, is it 87 or 92 octane?
I couldn't even tell you that. You can just tell them it's rocket fuel right?
Yeah they actually asked if that was one of the possibilities.
[laughs] A team actually a couple years ago put rocket fuel in their car to try and qualify for a race and they got caught and got in trouble.
Do you have some time for some fun questions that some people wanted to know?
Ok, if you weren't a NASCAR driver what would you wanna be?
Man, I don't know. I couldn't even tell you. All I've ever done was race since I was seven years old, so I've never really had to figure that out. I mean I guess if I wasn't a NASCAR driver I'd wanna be a racecar driver of some sort you know?
So what would you advise to someone who wants to be a NASCAR driver when they want to grow up?
I would tell them to stay in school probably [laughs] or if they pick a long, hard road it's a lot of work you know it's not easy at all. People see a driver out on a track and things like that, but the road for me to get there was just an uphill road at the very least. It's just a lot of hard work, that's what I would tell someone. That's what I've told people, it's not gonna be easy, you know what I mean? If you don't quit, if you don't give up, it's hard to be defeated, you know?
Someone wants to know what body part is the most sore after a race.
Hmmm, I would say that the most common thing would probably be your neck, especially if your head rest isn't right. But it depends on the track too, like tracks where we use the break really hard like Martinsville, your left leg like your quad and everything will be super sore the next day, and you know some of the higher speed tracks will pull so hard onto the shoulder rest that your right shoulder will actually get sore. It just depends on the track, really.
Scott Fargo, who also writes for CryptoCoinsNews, wanted to know if the new car designs for this year are affecting you in any way, are they better or worse for your driving?
As far as the Gen 6 car? Like the car's specs is he talking about?
Yeah. I think this is the best car I've driven personally. The cars are really really fun to drive right now. They have a lot of grip and a lot of downpours and the racing's really been pretty good too. We used to have uh – we still fight it – but you get really aerodynamically, you lose a lot of handling from the aerodynamics from the behind of the cars. It seems to be better this year as far you're able to kinda catch back up.
So you think that you have the same odds as everyone else at winning the race?
I would say uh, you know everybody's odds are one in forty-three Talladega.
And everyone's rooting for you from the Dogecoin community. So, anything else you wanna say?
Umm, no I think that's it man. I'm pumped, I hope we can do good and make everyone proud and just come home with a good soul and finish well for Dogecoin and reddit and everything.
Bottom two images from Shutterstock.