It is unclear whether NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon has pulled off one of the greatest pranks of the year or if it was all a hoax, but for most, it doesn't really matter.
A video of Jeff Gordon's prank has gone viral on the Internet although the "prank" is actually a Pepsi ad. The video shows the NASCAR driver taking a car salesman on the ride of his life. At first portraying a timid driver afraid to test-drive a Chevy Camaro at sales lot, Gordon unveils his real self once on the road.
Gordon, who was dressed in disguise, begins to race down the street at unseemly speeds. The reaction of the car salesman is a panicked one. But while the reactions of the car's salesman may have been "100 percent genuine," a Pepsi spokesperson said in a statement to ABC News, the commercial is not.
The spokesperson admitted that Gordon had not played a role in all of the scenes, at times being substituted for a stunt double. Critics of the ad pointed out several other consistencies as well.
"I started to suspect on the second viewing," auto enthusiast Travis Okulski told ABC, noting rubber marks on the ground. "I make of that that there are multiple takes."
"I know the salesman was an actor from my source on the set," he added.
Others also suggested that it appears the driver struggled with a clutch at first, even though the car is an automatic. Shadows all suggested that the team has been "shooting all day," said PC Magazine writer John Dvorak.
"What bothers me the most is not the obviously staged video, but how the media, as usual, are lapping it up as if it were a great gag rather than free promotion for Pepsi, Chevy, and Gordon," Dvorak said.
Regardless of whether it was staged or not, fans on Twitter appeared to enjoy the prank for what it was- a "really funny" video.
Watch video of Jeff Gordon Prank: