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USA Today via Reuters

Carson Hocevar has a unique opportunity at North Wilkesboro this weekend. In only his debut Cup Series season, the #77 Spire Motorsports driver could join the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr and Ryan Newman as one of the only rookies to visit Victory Lane in an All-Star Race. But how?

The NASCAR All-Star Race is only open to drivers who have won a points-paying Cup Series race during the 2023 or 2024 seasons, past All-Star Race winners who compete full-time, or past Cup Series champions who compete full-time. And Hocevar doesn’t fall under any of the categories. However, he still stands a chance, thanks to the All-Star Race Fan Vote. But it looks like Hocevar will have a few hurdles to overcome to win.

There’s $1 million on the line, and the #77 Spire Motorsports driver has to go up against Bubba Wallace, teammate Corey LaJoie, Noah Gragson, and Alex Bowman. With two of the most popular drivers (Wallace and Bowman) as competitors, Hocevar knew he had to make a lasting impression. After making Austin Dillon and Kaz Grala unknowingly vote for him with a cameo request, Carson Hocevar is closer than ever before to entering the All-Star Race. With his ‘Cameo’ campaign doing wonders, he delivered one last pitch to Dale Jr Download. Only this time, other drivers may not be as happy.

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When Andrew Kurland asked him to make his case with the fans, Carson Hocevar stated, “I did not come with a speech, unlike a lot of others. I don’t have a PR team that I rely on. I have my voice, and my voice is straight for the people, by the people. Don’t short your vote. I’m taller than every other driver out there. So don’t short your vote; don’t short yourself. And pick the tallest driver.” He nonchalantly added, “All the other drivers look up to me, and you should too; you probably do.”

For NASCAR drivers, Carson Hocevar stands taller than most. With an impressive height of 6’4″, Hocevar is not just taller than other fan-vote drivers such as Alex Bowman and Corey LaJoie (both 6’1″) by a few inches, but he towers above drivers like Bubba Wallace (5’6″) and Noah Gragson (5’8″). Naturally, this must have given Hocevar the hysterical idea of using his height to ‘short’ votes. He concluded, “That’s all I got, basically. I don’t even need 60 seconds, I can talk sh** about all the other drivers, but I don’t need that because I already look down on them.”

With that statement, Hocevar may have taken a major risk by upsetting those not fortunate enough to be so tall. And also potentially upsetting a few fans. Fan votes can do wonders for drivers. Ken Schrader won the first Fan Vote in 2004, and Gragson was the most recent winner in 2023. Kyle Petty, Danica Patrick, and Clint Bowyer are others on the list to achieve the feat. But Hocevar has already defeated the other bunch who also qualified for the fan vote: Josh Berry, Chase Briscoe, Ty Gibbs, Justin Haley, and Erik Jones.

Fans are eligible to vote until 5:30 p.m. E.T. on May 19. The driver who gains the most votes will qualify for the NASCAR All-Star race. They can vote up to five times per day per unique email address. The Fan Rewards members will earn 50 points for voting. It’ll be interesting to note if Hocevar’s campaign, which was just fun and games, would help him get more attention and votes. Speaking of which, the #77 Spire Motorsports driver recently shed light on the aftermath of his Cameo shenanigans.

Did drivers react positively to Hocevar’s Cameo campaign?

Before Carson Hocevar bragged about his height on DJD, he chose to spend his hard-earned money on Cameo. Getting other drivers in the fan vote to vote for ‘Carson,’ the Spire Motorsports driver, had the NASCAR community on the floor with laughter. While this naturally helped Hocevar make it to the top five list, were other drivers okay with the hand they were dealt?

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For Hocevar, a major factor was that the entire gig was ‘self-funded’ and ‘independent.’ He shared on the DJD, “We didn’t fundraise and take it out of the taxpayers, the hardcore race fans. We dig into the pocket and spent a few hundred bucks for it, just for some good content for the people.” Besides the fans, who were impressed by the creative idea, drivers seemed to take it on the chin, too.

Hocevar told Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass, “It was funny. Austin [Dillon] got his dinner paid for and everything. It was all good fun. We want to get in the all-star race, but God forbid we can’t get in it on raw speed. There’s obviously something we can work on, and if we can get it through the fan vote, that’s a free race.”

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Now that the day of reckoning slowly creeps up on the Cup Series, will Carson Hocevar make it to the All-Star Race in his rookie season?