An ordinary Twitter poll on a sleepy Tuesday during the offseason took some wild turns when a Hollywood star, athletes from outside of NASCAR and even the son of the President of the United States, Donald Trump Jr. attempted to sway the results.
The poll told a story of pluck and determination – the potential of a dark horse and a grassroots movement determined to defy the odds.
Ultimately, however, it reminded us of just how persuasive Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s Twitter feed can be.
Tuesday’s matchup featured special paint schemes on Austin Dillon and Matt DiBenedetto‘s cars.
At that point, both teams went to work – appealing to their fans to vote.
Around 4 p.m. ET, heavy hitters weighed in for the fight.
Nashville recording artist Chris Lane and Ian Somerhalder, who played Boone Carlyle on “Lost,” appealed for votes on the Dillon car.
But that wasn’t enough to move the ticker in Dillon’s favor. DiBenedtto led the vote 54 to 46 percent.
Donald Trump Jr. jumped in around 7:30 p.m. garnering 500 retweets and 2,500 likes.
Olympic medalist Chris Mazder and Carolina Panthers star Christian McCaffrey also appealed for Dillon to win. Overnight, the cumulative effect tipped the scale in favor of the No. 3 for a little while.
Dillon led 58 to 42 percent with 7,000 votes cast.
DiBenedetto’s team, GoFas Racing, appealed to dog owners and swung the pendulum back in their favor. Spooky Snoopy led 51 to 49 percent.
Bots! cry RCR.
Dillon tries to fight fire with fire – offering to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit if only they will turn on their hero DiBenedetto.
It’s not enough. Dillon is seemingly down for the count.
DiBenedetto appears to be cruising to a 60 – 40 percent victory with 20 minutes remaining in the poll.
Until Earnhardt steps in, that is. After all, Dillon’s paint scheme was a tribute to his father Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s 1995 All-Star car.
Another 6,000 votes are cast in less than two minutes. By the time the polls close, 7,000 more roll in for a total of 24,000. Dillon wins 64 to 36 percent.
By a margin of slightly more than 6,600 votes, this was the most cast in NBC’s paint scheme pole. The second best was DiBenedetto versus Kasey Kahne’s Darlington Throwback in the first round, which received 17,329 votes.
Click here to read Dillon’s AMA on Reddit.