Dale Earnhardt Jr., a favorite driver of NASCAR fans, tops the charts even with creatures of the sea.
Freedom, the resident zebra shark at Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium, predicted Friday that Earnhardt will win Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The shark chose him over Jimmie Johnson by “picking” the No. 88 flag from the two fan-selected drivers represented inside her tank.
The drivers were selected by a Facebook fan poll. Their flag numbers were lowered into the tank simultaneously, and Freedom went for Earnhardt’s.
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Freedom is a juvenile zebra shark, 2- to 3-years-old and about 6-feet long. She could grow up to 9 feet, Sea Life Charlotte-Concord spokesman John Markovics said. Her weight is unknown, but she could weigh up to 70 pounds, Markovics said. The aquarium has had her for a year.
“Our zebra shark is a perfect option to provide a NASCAR prediction, as she is a highly intelligent creature,” Markovics said. “This is our third year having a prediction for a NASCAR race, and we can’t wait to see who she picks next year.”
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is a 26,000-square-foot indoor aquarium at Concord Mills mall with another 10,000 square feet planned for future expansion. Sea Life is the world’s largest aquarium chain with over 45 attractions worldwide.
Its zebra shark is among several sea creatures to have made predictions on the outcomes of major sports events.
Paul, a giant Pacific octopus and a fellow Sea Life Aquarium resident from Germany, acted as a FIFA World Cup predictor and correctly selected winners for 11 of 13 matches.