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.

Hunter McElrea wins Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 Scholarship

IndyCar.com
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Hunter McElrea bested 18 competitors to win the third annual Road to Indy USF2000 $200,000 Scholarship Shootout on Sunday at Bondurant Racing School in Chandler, Ariz.

The two-day contest featured on-track competition in Formula Mazda cars as well as interview sessions and assessment from a panel of judges.

“I canโ€™t believe it,โ€ McElrea said at IndyCar.com. “This is definitely the most exciting opportunity that I have had in my racing career. I cannot thank Mazda and everyone enough for making this possible for me. The fact that I am going to be on the grid next year thanks to them is a dream come true.

“They have given me the opportunity to prove myself in such a high level that I never even thought I would be able to reach. I have to thank Andersen Promotions, Cooper tires, all of the judges, everyone from Mazda, the Bondurant Racing School and the other competitors, who literally pushed me to the limit.

“I am just so happy. It is still sinking in, but I just canโ€™t wait to get next year started, and Iโ€™ll be representing Mazda in that nice Soul Red USF2000 car.”

MORE: Michael Carter wins Mazda Road to 24 shootout

The 19-year-old McElrea was born in California, but reared in Australia.

As a result of winning the award, McElrea will compete in the 2019 season of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder.

McElrea won the Australian Formula Ford Championship this year on the strength of 13 victories in 21 races.

Early competition resulted in a final field of six drivers that included Jake Craig, Michael Eastwell, Braden Eves, Flinn Lazier and Ross Martin. They competed in a qualification session and 30-minute simulated race. McElrea won that race.

“Today was an incredible day,โ€ said Tom Long, Mazda Motorsports factory driver and one of the judges. “There was so much talent here for the shootout. Hunter McElrea just rose to the top when it was time to shine, but our decision was very, very difficult.

“In the end, given all of the circumstances, we were able to make a pretty good decision and we are really, really proud of not only Hunter but our whole team here with Mazda to be able to grant this $200,000 scholarship for his opportunity in USF2000 next year.”