By now, many of us have seen the video of the fan who ran on the track at Altamont Motorsports Park last week and stole the winning car, driving it away. The above video was all over the place, from CNN to "SportsCenter" to "Today."
It was also a complete fake, a publicity stunt pulled by "Taxbrain.com."
Before Sunday's main event, local racecar driver Justin Philpott — who later said he had no idea what was about to happen — was called onto the track to receive a "special award." The 16-year-old Tracy High junior drove his Taxbrain.com-sponsored No. 05 Western Late Model Chevrolet onto the track, did a few laps, and parked in victory lane in front of the grandstand.
He was presented with a trophy, and while he posed with a half-dozen bikini-clad young women for a photo, an unidentified man in a sleeveless T-shirt hopped into his car and drove away while a befuddled track announcer called for security.
Track security — who also had no idea the theft was staged and the "thief" was an actor — immediately sprung into action. They blocked the car's path with tow trucks, pulled the thief from the vehicle, and violently wrestled him to the dirt on the track's infield — all in full view of video cameras in the stands and a camera crew on the infield.
So, in other words, the "theft" wasn't real, but the beatdown of the "actor" was. Sweet.
Instant Fame ... Or Infamy [Tracy Press]