Jeff Gordon calls prank Pepsi commercial "adrenaline rush"

George Diaz | En Fuego

Orlando Sentinel

12:00 PM EST, March 4, 2014



Jeff Gordon has become the King of the Road when it comes to cool pranks.

He followed up his first Pepsi commercial _ pretending to be a potential client at a car dealership _ with a sequel: Pranking a journalist who labeled the commercial a fake.

Jeff pretended to be an ex-convict turned taxi-cab driver who is asked to pull over by a policeman and “makes a run” for it  on the open streets. One man who isn't happy with the dramatic turn of events is the guy in the back seat_ Travis Okulski, who works for the auto publication Jalopnik.

 “It was an adrenaline rush for me, “Gordon said recently. “An hour later I felt like I had just won the Daytona 500.”

Elaborating, he said: “Safety was the first thing on the list of concerns.  Making sure that we did this with all safety precautions.  Making sure that he didn’t recognize who I was and we went through Jalopnik to get Travis there.  If they hadn’t have been a part of it, this thing would have never happened.  When I look at it, how we pulled this off is near impossible and the fact that we were able to pull it off and at the end of the day Travis had a big smile on his face finally was what made it so extraordinary.  It was an adrenaline rush for me.

“…  We had a safe word, which was Nebraska.  I didn’t come up with it.  They said, here’s the word.  I had an earpiece where I could hear the crew talking, they could hear us and see video live of what was going on inside the car and so there was that moment that if it got to that point we called that word and it all stopped and when I first took off and I hit about 80 miles per hour and he started kicking that glass, I came this close.  You don’t know what that situation is going to be like until you have that person in the back of the car that is really scared.  I just knew that it’s all going to be over very quick and luckily when I opened that door and saw that smile on his face, it made it all worth it.”

George Diaz can be reached at gdiaz@orlandosentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @georgediaz