Jeff Gordon Test Drive Video Fake–No, Really

A friend mentioned the “Jeff Gordon test drivevideo earlier today and when Tony Kornheiser closed PTI with a reference, I remembered to take a look.

The gang at Jalopnik reveal the truth: “That Jeff Gordon Terrifying A Car Salesman Pepsi Ad Is Totally 100 Percent Fake.

After watching the video a number of times, a few little things started to jump out at me that just didn’t sit right. I spoke to someone who was on site during the filming of the video, and they confirmed that nearly everything you saw on screen was fake.

  • The car on the lot has a sticker that says ’09’ on the windshield. That means it’s a 2009 Camaro. The problem is that there wasn’t a Camaro made in 2009. At all. 2010 was the first year. A closer inspection will show that the Camaro has a 2013 interior (2013 is the first year with nav) and the brand new five spoke wheels. That makes this car brand new.
  • Also inside the Camaro is a random cupholder placed above the vents. That cupholder definitely doesn’t exist in a new Camaro… or really any other car. There is also a V8 soundtrack. This car is definitely a V6.The car is sitting right outside the dealership when it sets out. If you look at the area where the car sets out from, there sure are a lot of tire marks like repeated burnouts were done there. My source that was on site told me that was because they did multiple takes for everything.The car is sitting right outside the dealership when it sets out. If you look at the area where the car sets out from, there sure are a lot of tire marks like repeated burnouts were done there. My source that was on site told me that was because they did multiple takes for everything.
  • There is one “salesman” from Troutman Motors — where the ad was filmed — named “Steve” featured in the video. “Steve” is the only Troutman Motors “employee” who doesn’t have his face blurred out, meaning he would have signed a release to be in the video, since filming without discretion is illegal in most states. I called Troutman Motors to speak with Steve. Guess what? He was “unavailable.” Wayne Troutman of the dealership told me that they are currently under non-disclosure and cannot comment on the video at all. But our source that was there told me that “Steve” was an actor. Who else offers a test drive within eight seconds of meeting someone in a car they aren’t interested in?
  • During the entire drive, there isn’t one shot of Jeff Gordon driving the car. We see him put the camera in at the beginning and turn it towards the passenger. At the end when he parks the car, the camera is suddenly back on Gordon. That’s because Gordon didn’t drive the car, according to our tipster. A report in Concord, NC’s Independent Tribune verifies what our insider told me: ”Racer Brad Noffsinger, who works with the Richard Petty Driving Experience, did the stunt work for the production.” I have no doubt that Gordon is an excellent driver, but I was told that Noffsinger did all of the slides, burnouts, and other stunt driving for the film.

USA Today’s Chris Chase uses a different analytical schema before arriving at the same conclusion:

Shoot, I shouldn’t have revealed that news before telling you to sit down first. Don’t want anyone passing out from the shock that a major corporation didn’t actually have a major sports star take an illegal, litigious joyride around empty parking lots as part of an advertising campaign.


FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, Sports, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Well, crap.

  2. Chris Berez says:

    Honestly, I was completely baffled that anyone actually thought it was real. The second I heard about it I assumed it was fake. Then when I watched it, I knew it was fake.

    That said, I still think it’s funny. I got a good laugh and I really enjoyed it.

    But I mean, of course it’s fake.

  3. ernieyeball says:

    I suspect some folks will believe this was not fake. You know. The same people who believe in Bigfoot, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

  4. PJ says:

    This is as fake as the moon landings are real.

  5. Franklin says:

    Pretend for a moment it was real. The tire marks are explained by the fact that Jeff Gordon mapped out his course in advance and practiced it when the dealership wasn’t open. The cupholder – uh, ever heard of those cupholders you slide into a vent? I’m pretty sure that’s what it is and it can be inserted in a millisecond – perhaps by the guy who slyly enters the car while Jeff and the salesman are inside signing a release.

    Okay, I’m done. I can’t explain anything else. That said, my boss still thinks it’s real.

  6. Franklin says:

    Oops, nevermind the bit about the guy who enters the car – after watching it again, I see he never opened the door (which is locked anyway), he’s just fiddling with tire pressures or something.

  7. John Peabody says:

    I demand to see the waiver!

  8. Al says:

    The “Professional driver on closed course. Do not attempt.” wasn’t a complete give away?

  9. Franklin says:

    @Al: When does it say that?

  10. wr says:

    @Chris Berez: In other urgent, surprising news, that little kid didn’t really give Mean Joe Green a Coke.

  11. Franklin says:

    @Franklin: Nevermind me again, I spotted it after watching two more times.