Last year was the year of the doge. This year might be the year of the bitcoin.
While Josh Wise’s Reddit community-fueled Dogecoin livery last year was both a rallying point for the online community and something that upset the establishment in terms of normal NASCAR team sponsorship, the introduction of BitPay to Justin Boston’s truck at Kyle Busch Motorsports may be for more than just a one-off appearance generated for PR and marketing purposes.
BitPay – the world’s leading bitcoin payment processor which enables businesses to accept bitcoin payments – will serve as primary sponsor for Boston’s No. 54 Toyota Tundra at the season-opening round of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season at Daytona in a couple weeks. With BitPay joining one of the top truck teams, it marks a big arrival in NASCAR for the digital currency.
“I couldn’t be more excited about having this opportunity to represent the BitPay brand on and off the track,” Boston said, via a team release. “BitPay is a global leader in bitcoin payment processing and they are at the forefront of shaping how we all spend money in everyday life.”
Added Stephanie Wargo, Vice President of Marketing for BitPay, “NASCAR is watched by millions of people all over the world. Through this exposure and working with Justin and KBM, we hope to help raise awareness about the bitcoin technology and our company’s platform.”
Boston was announced in November to run a full Truck season with KBM for his rookie year. He has one prior Truck start, and also made two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing a year ago.
The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.
With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.
Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.
With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.
“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!
“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”
Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.
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