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Could NASCAR drive Dogecoin to the moon?

It could be just crazy enough to work.


Aaron Sankin

Internet Culture

In its 100 days of existence, Dogecoin has done a lot. While it started as a joke, the meme-themed cryptocurrency helped send the Jamaican bobsled team to the Olympics, fundraised to provide clean drinking water to towns in eastern Kenya, and pointed itself squarely at the moon. Now, boosters of the virtual currency have set their sights on a new target: NASCAR.

Recently, Denis Pavel was browsing Reddit’s r/NASCAR forum when he came across an interesting discussion. A group of Redditors were considering the possibility of having denizens of the subreddit sponsor a car, but the general consensus was that raising the requisite funds necessary to slap an r/NASCAR logo onto a stock car wasn’t realistic.

It was then that Pavel had an epiphany. He had been in investor in Dogecoin virtually since the virtual currency’s inception and suspected the Dogecoin community’s generous nature—not to mention its penchant for extending its online absurdity into the real world—made it an ideal vehicle for turning this high speed dream into a reality.

Pavel, who currently goes by the Reddit handle u/Reddit_Racing, posted his idea for having Dogecoin sponsor a NASCAR car to Reddit. The response was immediate and overwhelming.

“It was massive. Everyone seemed so into it,” Pavel recalled. “I was happy to see it really take off. That’s when I started to research.”

Pavel discovered that racer Josh Wise was driving without a sponsor. He called up Phil Parson, the owner of Wise’s car, and asked about the possibility of a Dogecoin sponsorship. Parson was into the idea and told Pavel that it would cost $50,000 to fully wrap the car in Dogecoin graphics or $15,000 to cover a just a single portion.

An excited Pavel laid out his vision:

Now there are millions of people watching NASCAR every week. There are two major races that are very exciting and people are digging to watch. The track name? Talladega. It is known for its big one and it’s exciting. Now imagine a Doge. A Doge that is going 200 MPH into victory lane. Anyone can win Dega. Underfunded or not, for example last years race where David Regan and the underfunded team brought home the win. Now imagine on TV. DOGE DOGE DOGE DOGE DOGE every time he talks about his car. “This Doge Ford Fusion is fast today.” Every time they talk about the car.

Pavel has set up a dedicated Reddit account, fundraising page, and Twitter account for the project.

Even so, some within the community have expressed skepticism about the whole endeavor. A Redditor going by the name u/duramax08 outlined some concerns:

They can easily run away with the money and we’ll be SOL. We need an official fundraiser, preferably backed up by the Dogecoin Foundation or someone with better credibility. My biggest concern is having one user in charge of the $50k USD they are asking for. Previously, funds for recent causes were held and manage by the foundation, not just one random person from the internet….This is going a bit too fast. We really need to plan this out a bit more to make sure it all goes as planned, such as the design of the car.

u/duramax08 suggested having the fundraising for the NASCAR sponsorship run through the Dogecoin Foundation, an organization created by the currency’s creators to manage charitable projects. Pavel said he reached out to the Dogecoin Foundation, but officials there declined his offer for them to get involved. “I am not a scammer and want to do good,” he insisted.

These initial hesitations haven’t stopped many in the Dogecoin community from getting excited about the idea. Other Redditors have created a contest where community members can submit their own designs for what the paint job would look like.

As one Redditor aptly put it, “This has to be the most ridiculous, craziest and borderline ludicrous thing I have ever seen here. And I hope to be a part of making this a reality.”

Or, to make the same point in the form of an animated gif:

(Animation by u/youlox123456789)

Update: The wallet for the fundraiser is now being managed by the well-respected cryptocurrency payments service In addition, Wise and Parson will be doing a Reddit AMA about the sponsorship effort later this month.

Update 1:37pm CT, Jan. 12, 2015: Pavel discontinued an earlier Reddit username and now primarily uses the handle u/Reddit_Racing. 

Photo by Pranavian remix by Jason Reed (CC BY 2.0)

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