PURCHASE, New York –
After two teen deaths due to ingestion of Mountain Dew mixed with racing fluid, Pepsi-Co will be pulling all racing sponsorships. Cars affected will include Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kasey Kahne, and rookie Chase Elliot.
Racing fluid, used in drag racing, is made up of almost 100% methanol, a non-drinkable form of alcohol used for industrial and automotive purposes. Teens drink it to get an alcohol buzz, and initially, methanol can give the same effects as ethanol. This progresses to symptoms ranging from blurred vision, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea to seizures, blindness, coma and death, depending on the amount and concentration of the methanol that was consumed.
Hendrick Motorsports recently announced a three-year extension of PepsiCo’s longstanding partnership with the organization. They have agreed to rebrand the cars with Pepsi Max logos, which because of the artificial sugar, does not taste good with racing fuel.
Pepsi-Co warns kids not go to the measures of desperate alcoholics to get drunk. Racing fluid, antifreeze, and windshield wiper fluid should never be consumed.
“I thought most teens just stole booze from their parents or got someone’s older brother to buy beer – I mean hell, that’s what we did in my day,” said Pepsico spokesman Joe Goldsmith. “Or you know what they could do instead? They could just drink Pepsi brand soft drinks. There’s nothing cooler than hanging out with friends and enjoying a tall glass of refreshing Pepsi Cola or Mountain Dew.”