• Mar 14, 2008
Click above to view video after the jump

Driving a news van can be a real drag. Evidently so, as news crews from KDBC-TV and KVIA-TV in El Paso, Texas took it literally during their coverage of opening night at El Paso Motorplex. In response to the crowd's wishes, both overweight vans -- packing a full assortment of electronic equipment and sporting satellite dishes on the roof -- staged at the tree. Reaction times were slow as both lumbered off the line, sans wheelspin, and hobbled down the quarter-mile strip. Neither news station posted slips, but the driver from KDBC-TV was let go for his performance (one has to assume the only thing he broke were the station rules). Lucky for us, video cameras caught all of the action.

CNN's Anderson Cooper reported the event in the video after the jump with this cynical lead-in: "What were they thinking?" His follow-up crack of, "...seriously, the folks in the van should have known better..." was only topped by the comment from his female co-host who blurted out, "I didn't realize it was legal anywhere to drag race... shows you I don't get out much." Doh! Turns out they thought the media face-off was in pour taste because a person had died in that area the previous night in what may have been an illegal street-racing incident.

It is, however, still legal to drag race on quarter- and eighth-mile tracks all over the country, and we think the impromptu event was a pretty cool publicity stunt for EP Motorplex. In fact, next time let's turn it up a notch with some big names going head-to-head for pinks. Are you listening CNN and FOX News? Thanks for the tip, Nick!

[Source: SouthWestDrags]





I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      i have yet to see one person die in any legal drag race, ive seen cars explode with drivers in them on a track who survive with few physical injuries (i.e. hamster on top gear). there going in straight line with barriers on both sides while weaeing protection, if your going to go fast thats pretty much the smartest way to do it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here's the actual video CNN seems to have used, or at least a copy of it. Full staging and race.

      http://youtube.com/watch?v=ioHh4a5C-9g
      • 6 Years Ago
      Anderson Cooper is a tool and a douchebag.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here is a clincher in the whole deal. The orignal owners of KDBC were the Rodricks. In El Paso they started KROD and KDBC. I believe the there grandson who is now in his 40s is a DRAG RACER himself. Aint that a bitch.
      • 6 Years Ago
      nothing pisses me off more than reporters reporting something they know absolutely nothing about
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seriously???

      WTF is wrong with that guy's boss?

      In an era where street racing has been universally condemned by every media outlet -- I have never seen a better opportunity to raise awareness about track use. (Especially following the recent loss of life.) "Here kiddies, this is how racing *should* be done..."

      Ad Agencies get lots of bucks to come up with noteworthy and salient publicity stunts -- these two yahoos did it spontaneously. They should get bonuses for all the extra press their stations are receiving.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You have to look at it from the company's position. You just can't hire any ole yahoo off the streets and then catch him racing your news van to advertise for a track opening up for legal races. What if he flipped it or hurt someone? That's a lot of expensive equipment to loose for some ad stunt. The boss could have got some flack from that too, so he had to cover his ass intead of getting it chewed off, or possibly fired.

        I do admit he went a little far by firing the guy. The whole crew was liable for that stunt so if they fired him they should fire the entire crew. At most he should have just reprimanded them, which would have covered it for both sides.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Because how fast can you get going in a loaded up news van in 1/4 mile anyway? 30? 40?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Very cool!
      • 6 Years Ago
      In "pour" taste? Poor, perhaps?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think it sucks that the driver got fired over it. You know the audience loved it and as slow as those vans are, it didn't likely break anything.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maybe the residents of El Paso can arrange an advertiser boycott of KDBC-TV until the driver is re-instated.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How clueless can she be (especially for a news anchor)? How could anyone in the US seriously think drag racing was illegal everywhere? Did you know it is also legal to crush cars that you own with a monster truck in a stadium?
        • 6 Years Ago
        people who deliver news are usually clueless about anything outside of politics
      • 6 Years Ago
      Holy crap that's a lot of money going down the strip - and its actually not in auto parts. You know they are more like indy racers than drag racers - trying to get the scoop. But, enjoyed the clip!

      Richard
      http://www.tucsonrichard.com
    • Load More Comments