Automotive Journalist Gets Payback

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Okay, you need to get some background on these videos before you can appreciate how hilarious the second video really is.

In the first video, above, a guy jumps in a Chevy Camero with an auto salesman for a test drive, and we see the salesman’s reaction through a hidden camera. The driver begins with clumsy starts and stops, then puts the the pedal to the metal. It looks like the salesman puts a load in his pants as he goes on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. The whole thing is a Pepsi MAX commercial starring NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon in disguise.

Enter Travis Okulski. He is an automotive journalist at Jalopnik.com.  After the commercial came out last year, he started shouting “fake!” He did not believe the commercial was real, and worse, he did not believe that Jeff Gordon drove the car. Okulski said,

Like any of these videos, it’s a fun watch… if a little fake. But it’s actually way faker than we initially thought: Jeff Gordon did not drive the car and every single person in the video was an actor.

Okulski did a rather questionable forensic study of the video to support his idea that it was a hoax. He alleged that Brad Noffsinger, who is with the Richard Petty Driving Experience, was actually behind the wheel.

Ouch! Those were some pretty strong accusations. Not only did they sting Jeff Gordon, they also raised the eyebrows of the people at Pepsi MAX. In the video below, we see the Pepsi MAX team exact some revenge, and it made a hilarious video. Watch it to see the great prank unfold.

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Sadly, Okulski still thinks that Gordon did not do the driving for the first commercial. After the prank, Okulski said, “Yes, Jeff Gordon scared me to death in the back of a fake taxi. Yes, it was a very well done, very real, very terrifying prank. But his original Test Drive ad from last year is still fake. Jeff didn’t do any of the stunt driving in that ad.”

Okulski said, the prank “did prove that Jeff Gordon could do this if he wanted. Thing is, that was never in question. Jeff is one of the greatest drivers that has ever lived. He could do anything in a car and make it into art.”

However, Okulski contended that, “It’s not that Jeff didn’t want to drive the car or couldn’t do the stunt work in the first Test Drive, there was a hurdle. That hurdle was insurance.”

Okulski felt insurance companies would not cover the winning racer for a commercial. However, the alleged insurance hurdle seemed to magically disappear the second time around. We know for sure that Gordon was behind the wheel in the prank video. Good job both times, Gordon!