April Fooled: NASCAR Hoax Causes Web Frenzy
by Claudine Zap
April 1, 2009
The Buzz Log
Sure, April Fools' Day comes but once a year, and some silly stories have been making the rounds. (Stairmasters in the NYC subway? Brad and Angelina married? Really? No.) But one thing is now clear: Keep the jokes away from NASCAR.
All Car and Driver magazine tried to do was drive a little levity into the auto industry bailout with a prank. The serious publication ran a joke story that announced that Obama had ordered Chevrolet and Dodge out of NASCAR if they wanted to keep their federal funds. For a brief web-fueled moment, NASCAR fans had to imagine a future of cheering on Japanese cars. Or worse, French ones. The horror.
Immediately, the Internet went crazy, with searches on "obama nascar" accelerating in Search and zooming across Twitter. Although the story was clearly marked a hoax, Car and Driver eventually pulled the fake story and apologized for going "too far."
Not to worry, NASCAR fans: Nobody's pulling out of NASCAR. Yet. As Automobile magazine's blog noted nervously, "Let's just hope that the auto task force doesn't read this and get any ideas."