Pepsi MAX and Jeff Gordon do it again

Many of you likely saw the video Pepsi Max created last year that went on to become a huge viral hit. We are talking about this one that showed a disguised Jeff Gordon (champion NASCAR driver) taking a local dealership salesman on the wildest ride of his life. That video was supposedly captured on a hidden camera but actually ended up being debunked as a fraudulent video by Travis Okulski, a writer for Gawker Media’s Jalopnik blog.

A year has now passed since the first video and Pepsi MAX and Jeff Gordon apparently had something to prove so they have created a follow-up Jeff Gordon 2.0 video.   By all accounts this new video is for real and destined to become another massive viral hit as it’s already at over 13 million views.

Although Travis is getting some serious online coverage within the mainstream media it must be slightly humbling since the world can now watch him scream like a little girl in the video.

Fort Erie’s Canadian Motor Speedway Complex Gets Thumbs Up

Aerial view of Canadian Motor Speedway complex proposal

We may be able to hear the roar of NASCAR as early as 2014 based on the decision this Monday which saw the Ontario Municipal Board reject all appeals against the proposed Canadian Motor Speedway complex setting things in motion for construction to start on the $400 million facility.

With over 332 hectares of farmland already purchased, construction is expected to take 18 months wrapping up in mid 2014. Studies suggest once completed, the complex will create 1200 new jobs along with providing an annual tax impact of $34 Million per year to the struggling Niagara Region. It’s believed the major investors making up the consortium are from Kuwait and the UAE.

Located in Fort Erie near the Peace Bridge, the proposed complex will attempt to attract NASCAR stock car racing, open wheel racing including Formula 1 and IndyCar, motorcycle racing and other motorsports series. In addition, there is a planned auto research facility that will be affiliated with Hamilton’s McMaster University.

As for the features of the complex, current plans include 65,000 seats, 5,000 club seats, and 80 suites while four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon is designing the 1.6 kilometre banked oval track and a 4.2 kilometre road course. The road course would be the largest paved track in Canada. For more information, check out the Canadian Motor Speedway official site.

Sources: Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and Toronto Sun.

The history of NASCAR

Stock car racing in the United States has its origins in bootlegging during Prohibition, when drivers ran bootleg whiskey made primarily in the Appalachian region of the United States. Bootleggers needed to distribute their illicit products, and they typically used small, fast vehicles to evade the police. Many of the bootleg drivers would modify their cars for speed and handling, as well as increased cargo capacity, and some of them came to love the fast-paced driving down twisty mountain roads.

Typical car used by Moonshiners to transport illegal booze.

Although the end of Prohibition in 1933 dried up the majority of the Moonshiners business, many Southerners had developed a taste for the illegal booze, and a number of the drivers continued “runnin’ shine”, to evade the “revenuers” who were attempting to tax their profits. The cars the Moonshiners used continued to be improved, and by the late 1940s, races featuring these cars were officially being organized. These cars were mainly street vehicles that had been lightened and reinforced to provide drivers with more power and control to tackle the local dirt tracks.These races became popular entertainment in the rural Southern United States, and most of them took place in the Wilkes County region of North Carolina, situated in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

One of the most famous retired Moonshine drivers is Robert Glenn Johnson, Jr. better known as Junior Johnson, it is said that he was never caught by police during his years of running booze. He became one of the early superstars of NASCAR in the 1950s and 1960s. He won 50 NASCAR races in his career before retiring in 1966. In the 1970s and 1980s, he also became a NASCAR racing team owner and sponsored NASCAR champions such as Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip. He is also credited with discovering the technique of drafting.

The ultimate King of NASCAR is Richard Petty and he is most well known for winning the NASCAR Championship seven times (Dale Earnhardt is the only other driver to accomplish this feat), while also winning a record 200 races during his career, winning the Daytona 500 a record seven times, and winning a record 27 races (ten of them consecutively) in the 1967 season alone.

Of the recent modern era, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are considered the best of all the time with a combined total of 20 championships and 209 wins. Unfortunately, Dale Earnhardt died tragically in a crash during the 2001 Daytona 500 when Earnhardt’s car hit the wall nose-first at an estimated speed of 160 mph.

As for NASCAR cars today – they are all built with similar specs below to keep the pack competitive:

  • V8 Engine
  • Electronic fuel injection * 2012 is first year this is being used for Sprint cars
  • Displacement:
    • Approx 355 cubic Inches
    • 750-850 HP
  • Top speeds: without restrictor plates – 220+ MPH plus at Talladega Superspeedway was done by Rusty Wallace in 2004 on test lap
  • Transmission: 4-speed manual w/ reverse
  • Curb Weight: 3450 lb.
  • Chassis: Steel tube frame with safety roll cage
  • NASCAR Steel 15 in. x 10 in.
  • Racing fuel

Jimmie Johnson’s 2012 car

Jeff Gordon’s 2012 car

With over 75 million race fans and sales of over $3 billion annually, NASCAR is the biggest form of motorsport in the US.  More Fortune 500 companies sponsor NASCAR than any other motor sport in North America, although the sport’s popularity has been in decline since the early 2000s. For more information please visit the official website of NASCAR.