Let's say you're an automotive journalist who is flown out to Charlotte, N.C. with the exclusive opportunity to get in a brand-new Corvette Z06 before anyone else. Now, let's also say that the cabbie who's supposed to take you to this once-in-a-lifetime event is an ex-convict and about to lead a high-speed police chase -- with you in the back seat. Are you scared yet?
Automotive journalist Travis Okulski claimed last year's viral Pepsi Max "Wild Ride" prank video with American NASCAR motor racing legend Jeff Gordon was staged, and wrote numerous stories along with appearing on multiple television shows to prove his theory.
This year, Pepsi Max and Gordon wanted revenge.
Okulski thought he was flying to Charlotte to take part in a private showing of a Corvette Z06 ('Big Nasty') while it was being filmed for an ad campaign. However, this was all a ruse and Okulski was the only one not in on it.
In the video above you'll see Okulski get into what looks like a standard Yellow Cab on his way to supposedly see the Corvette Z06. Yet, nothing would prepare him for this real-life "Test Drive 2."
In the almost four-minute clip, Okulski's driver (Gordon undercover) shares that he "went away for 10 years," as a cop turns on his lights behind them. "This can not be happening," Gordon screams as he bangs his wheel while pulled over on a side road. As the cop demands the men put their hands out the window, Gordon keeps the windows locked and then says, "I can't go back man, I'm sorry." And with that, he flees the scene.
"I'm a bad passenger in a car, I always have been, but this is slightly different. See, I was just kidnapped by an ex-con in the back of a cab that is now speeding down a hill, busting through a chain fence and narrowly missing buildings while trying to get away from a North Carolina State Trooper," later penned Okulski on Jalopnik. "I thought I was going to die. I yelled, I banged the glass, I actually tried to kick through the plexiglass window between the driver and me. I pulled out my phone to call 911, but couldn't keep it steady enough to dial."
Gordon launches a high speed pursuit, blurring the window with mud splashes, as Okulski is seen sinking down in his seat in fear of bullets. "I've watched 'Cops' and every show Sheriff Jon Bunnell has been on. I know running from the cops never works. I told him that, to which he replied 'It has to' and 'It'll all be over soon,'" Okulski further wrote. "I said how I didn't do anything wrong. That didn't seem to matter to him. I also saw the cop facing us at one point, so I ducked because maybe they'd shoot at him."
In an estimated 60 seconds, and after a few donuts for an added effect, Gordon pulls the cab into a warehouse raining blue and white confetti and surrounded by Pepsi props.
"So, just as I was able to say with total certainty that the first Pepsi 'Test Drive' ad was totally fake, I can say with total certainty that this second Pepsi Test Drive ad is unequivocally, one hundred percent, totally, absolutely real," Okulski concludes on Jalopnik.
In other words, don't mess with Pepsi Max -- or Gordon.