Much vote: Dogecoin community votes Josh Wise into All-Star Race

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The power of new media, social media, Reddit.com and the seemingly unstoppable Doge meme has propelled underdog driver and team Josh Wise and Phil Parsons Racing into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race by way of the Sprint Fan Vote.

Which means he beat Danica Patrick. Or Danica’s boyfriend, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Or the guy that drives the 3, Austin Dillon. And the other drivers who failed to advance.

Patrick wasn’t pleased. “It is what it is,” said Patrick, in a piece written by Sporting News’ Bob Pockrass. “That’s what it is. It’s outside sources that are in control. I know my fans voted a lot and I understand that I actually had more votes this year than I did last year by a fair amount.”

Details of the Sprint Fan Vote, how many votes Wise received or how many he won by were not revealed. But he was notified immediately after taking the checkered flag of Friday night’s Sprint Showdown preliminary race, where he finished 18th.

Via Jeff Gluck of USA Today, Sprint Showdown winner Clint Bowyer told Wise, “For you and your community to beat Danica out is saying something.”

It’s a huge payday for the small team, too. Per MRN Radio’s Dustin Long, Wise’s team is set to make an extra $70,000 in prize money.

Wise has been a driver on the rise thanks the popularity of the Dogecoin Internet cryptocurrency, which gathered enough crowd funding to sponsor his No. 98 car at Talladega a couple weeks ago and returned for an encore for the All-Star Race this weekend. A video of Wise and the Dogecoin car taking out others also gained traction this week.

“This is huge for me and my team,” Wise said post-race. Via Pockrass, Wise said this is big deal for sport because of a lot of young people who wouldn’t tune in are tuning in.

It’s definitely exposing the sport to a newer generation of fan, and to a point, it’s also a case of new media support trumping on-track performance.

But it’s hard not to love an underdoge, and the Wise-Dogecoin story is a welcome tonic in a world of mostly blasé, corporate pitchmen who often relay the same trite cliches in interviews.

Yeah, they’re not going to win on-track. But they’re doing well to win off it.

Much respect.

F1 Mexican Grand Prix on NBC, NBCSN, App this week

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Lewis Hamilton is poised to wrap his fourth Formula 1 World Championship early at this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, as NBC Sports covers the 18th of 20 rounds this season from the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.

Expanded TV coverage comes this weekend on NBC, NBCSN and the NBC Sports App.

All sessions will air live. Both Friday practice sessions are live on NBCSN at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET. Saturday third practice airs live via the NBC Sports App at 11 a.m. ET with a practice replay show at 12:30 p.m. before live qualifying at 2 p.m. ET, those two on NBCSN.

On Sunday, race day, F1 Countdown starts at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC leading to lights out and the race at 3 p.m. ET. Post-race coverage continues on NBC for one hour, from 5 to 6 p.m. ET.

Mercedes AMG Petronas has won both Mexican Grands Prix since the race was reinstated in 2015 after a 23-year hiatus. Nico Rosberg won in 2015 a race after Hamilton had clinched that year’s title, while Hamilton won last year in a 1-2 with Rosberg continuing to close on his first title.

Controversy reined about third place in Mexico last year with all of Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and ultimately Daniel Ricciardo ending in third, Ricciardo getting the podium after post-race penalties were assessed to the other two. Valtteri Bottas is the other active podium finisher in Mexico, having come third in 2015 with Williams.

Vettel enters Mexico 66 points behind Hamilton and can only keep the title alive to Brazil if he gets the gap under 50 points; any top-five finish for Hamilton will ensure the Englishman equals Vettel on four titles. So if Vettel doesn’t finish first or second, he can’t score enough points (either 25 or 18) to get that gap under 50 markers.

Last year’s race featured a bit of a “Noah’s Ark” finishing order with just the top five teams in the championship scoring points at this race, almost in descending order of just two-by-two. It was two Mercedes, then two Red Bulls, then two Ferraris, then Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India before the two Williams, and finally hometown hero Sergio Perez in the second Force India.

Perez is the lone home favorite this race with Esteban Gutierrez not on the grid this season.

Here’s the F1 schedule, with stream links and TV network if applicable:

  • Practice 1: Friday, Oct. 27, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Practice 2: Friday, Oct. 27, 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Practice 3: Saturday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET (Streaming)
  • Practice 3 (Replay): Saturday, Oct. 28, 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Qualifying: Saturday, Oct. 28, 2 p.m.-3:45 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Pre-Race: Sunday, Oct. 29, 2:30 p.m.-3 p.m. ET (NBC)
  • Race: Sunday, Oct. 29, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. ET (NBC)
  • Post-Race: Sunday, Oct. 29, 5 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (NBC)
  • Race (Replay): Sunday, Oct. 29, 8:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)

The next race is the Brazilian Grand Prix, on November 12.