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AAA  Jul. 5, 2014 6:19 PM ET
Josh Wise's fans look to unseat Earnhardt Jr.
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Dale Earnhardt Jr., left, talks with Miss Sprint Cup, Madision Martin, during an interview after he was named NASCAR's most popular driver prior to the Sprint cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Saturday, July 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
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(AP) — Fans of Josh Wise now have Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 11-year reign as NASCAR's most popular driver directly in their sights.

Voting opened Saturday for the award, sponsored by Sprint and the National Motorsports Press Association, and there's no reason to believe Wise's tech savvy fan base won't be active participants.

Wise won the Sprint All-Star fan vote in May in an upset over Danica Patrick. His support comes from the Dogecoin community at online site Reddit, which also successfully mounted an online push to sponsor Wise's car at Talladega using the digital currency.

Voting runs until the day after the Nov. 16 season finale at Homestead, and Wise's supporters have pledged to unseat Earnhardt.

Wise is in his third full season in the Sprint Cup Series and was ranked 36th in the standings headed into Saturday night's race at Daytona International Speedway.

Earnhardt is a two-time Daytona 500 winner and was ranked third going into Daytona, where he was trying to become the sixth driver in history to sweep the season at the famed track.

Voting is limited to one per person per email address per day, and the website requires registration. Fans who share their votes on Facebook or Twitter get their votes doubled. If shared on both, their votes get tripled.

Eligible drivers must have declared for the Sprint Cup championship and entered all points races before Saturday night. The winner of the award receives a trophy, and a $10,000 donation will be made this year to the winning driver's charity of choice.

Associated Press
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