02 November 2014

The Die is Cast 6: 2014 Josh Wise #98 Dogecoin Car

Josh Wise is one of the drivers on the NASCAR circuit who seems to hang around and drive for lower-tier teams. Currently he drives the #98 car for Phil Parsons Racing. Earlier this season a Reddit user noticed that he was driving an unsponsored car, admired his competitive spirit, and rallied the online community to raise money for a sponsorship. Proponents of the cybercurrency Dogecoin were able to raise enough money to sponsor the car for one race, leading to an ongoing sponsor relationship. They were able to stuff the ballot to get Wise into the All-Star race, leading to extra purse money that the team promised would be used to purchase newer, more competitive tires for the race car. I believe they were also able to raise money for another race sponsorship through the sale of t-shirts. I don't know much about cybercurrency, but I am familiar with the internet meme that the Dogecoin is named after. Soon after I saw the car design I hoped that Lionel Racing would create a die-cast version. When it went up for preorder I put my order in and waited. After a few months they made the minimum number of orders they needed to produce the car, and recently mine arrived in the mail. Such race car! Much fast!

The back of the car features a couple of phrases in the the traditional Comic Sans font and distinctive grammar patterns of the original Doge meme. I can imagine that it might be a little unsettling for any racer behind this car to have those dog eyes staring back at them.

Here's a view of the car from the top. Wise has had a few finishes this year in the 20-30 range, which is pretty good for an underfunded team. The press and fan attention from the Dogecoin deal seems to have sparked other niche companies to sponsor the car for a few races. Provident Metals picked up a few races this year, with their niche seeming to be collectible silver coins, more traditional precious metals, and survivalist gear like food storage and emergency kits.

Although my main NASCAR interests still lie with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick, and to a lesser extent Tony Stewart, I have paid attention to Josh Wise this year because of his internet fame. He usually isn't going to stand a chance of finishing within the top 20, but he is fun to cheer for as an underdog(e). I am glad that Lionel was able to get enough orders to make this car, and I am happy I got one. Mine is serially-numbered # 320 / 553.

1 comment:

  1. I wasn't familiar with the meme, but that's pretty cool!