You insisted the first Jeff Gordon wild-driving viral video was a fake. What do you think of the second one, Travis Okulski?
Oh, this one is “unequivocally, one hundred percent, totally, absolutely real,” he says.
How would he know? Because he’s in it, the victim of a prank and Gordon’s revenge.
A year ago, Okulski called out Gordon on the Jalopnik auto blog after the millions of views for a video in which Gordon dons a disguise and takes a supposedly unsuspecting car salesman for a high-speed test drive.
It’s one of those commercials masking itself as a video that begs the question: Is it fake?
Okulski led the “it’s obviously staged” camp. So Pepsi and Gordon decided to exact revenge.
They tempted him into coming to North Carolina by promising an exclusive test drive in a highly anticipated new Corvette. Then they dressed Gordon up in a new disguise with a neck tattoo, sideburns, mullet covered by a camouflage hat and sent him over in a fake cab (with real markings) to pick Okulski up at the hotel.
Gordon’s cover story was that he’s just out of prison after 10 years, so when a highway patrol officer pulls them over, the “cab driver” decides he cannot go back to the joint.
And, despite the protests of Okulski, the chase is on. As the car tears through an industrial complex, Okulski screams in the back seat and begs the driver to stop.
“I’m gonna lose this guy,” Gordon says as he winds and slides over asphalt.
“This never works. This never works!” Okulski replies.
Finally the car skids into the open door of a warehouse where the folks from Pepsi await.
As of Thursday evening, the video, “Test Drive 2,” had 1,000,000 views in just a few hours. Test Drive, meanwhile, now has almost 41 million views.
Okluski wrote on a blog post on how he fell for the cab gag.
“I thought I was going to die,” he wrote. “I yelled, I banged the glass, I actually tried to kick through the Plexiglas window between the driver and me. I pulled out my phone to call 911 but couldn’t keep it steady enough to dial.”
He insists this video was definitely real.
But is it? Is the video that proves the fake video isn’t a fake actually a fake, too?
The conspiracy theories have already begun. Keep your eye on the car, the naysayers say. Something changes on the car. And it looks like someone has driven the course before. Multiple takes, they wonder?
That’s aside from the questions about how did he get fooled, not figure out the cab was fake, not see the cameras, not realize it was Jeff Gordon.
“Looking back on it now, I’m not sure how I didn’t guess beforehand, but it boils down to the fact that I had no reason to believe anything was off,” he said.
Or was it? What do you think?
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