Very vroom: Josh Wise finishes 20th at ‘Dega in DogeCoin car

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After rising into the Top 5 with less than 25 laps to go in today’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, Josh Wise and his crowd-funded No. 98 DogeCoin Ford was shuffled back in the final stages and ultimately finished 20th.

Wise narrowly avoided a four-car pileup with 14 laps to go by going through the middle of the melee, which enveloped Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and Michael McDowell. He avoided further incidents for the remainder, but was unable to make headway.

However, while the final result left something to be desired, seeing the car battle with the leaders must have still been a thrill for those on Reddit who chose to back Wise with the digital “cryptocurrency” for today’s race.

Afterwards on Reddit’s Dogecoin page, reaction was overwhelmingly positive. One poster, Super_Bob, hailed the result as a success and asked users to give Wise and the small Phil Parsons Racing team a “high paw” – a nod to DogeCoin’s canine mascot, ‘Doge’ the Shiba Inu – for their efforts.

“The race started with 43 cars, think about how many of those 43 teams that are not one of the top big money brands (Lowe’s, KFC, GoDaddy, etc.) that got that kind of camera + announcer attention and an explanation of what the sponsor was about, hardly any,” he wrote.

“This was viewed millions around the country. Josh was in the lead pack for several laps and was noticed and mentioned more than once by the announcers, this was great exposure for us and curious people will do exactly what we wanted: Learn what Dogecoin is.”

On Twitter, PPR and Wise showed they were equally grateful in turn for the Reddit/Dogecoin support. Team and driver enjoyed noticeable mainstream media attention leading up to today’s event, and no doubt that it created a few more fans for the sport.

All in all, a worthwhile endeavor for all parties involved.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.