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“Car Pooling” wins prize donated by BHA

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Drive Smarter Challenge

“Car Pooling” wins prize donated by BHA

Andrew Herta
Bryan Herta Autosport
October 27, 2009


The public has spoken, the votes have been counted – and the winner of an Indy car race day package in the Drive $marter Challenge campaign video contest is freelance script reader Alec Wells of Los Angeles, creator of “Car Pooling,” in which the designated driver of a 3-person carpool is grossed out by the amorous couple in the back seat!

Indy Lights team Bryan Herta Autosport and their driver Daniel Herrington contributed the 2nd place prize consisting of two tickets and two garage/pit lane passes to an Indy race event, plus a test drive in an Indy car and helped publicize the contest as part of its sponsorship of the driving-efficiency campaign, now in its second year, along with 16 other diverse nonprofit, governmental, trade association, and for-profit partners.

“We had a lot of fun filming, and it is for a good cause, which is a bonus,” said Wells, who belongs to a sketch comedy group in LA. He often shoots videos with others from the group – some of whom became the actors in his video, along with his “starring” role as the driver. He loves doing video contests for causes he “believes in,” because the message is genuine and, therefore, believable to viewers, adding that he practices fuel-efficient driving habits, such as combining trips, whenever possible.

Wells said he wanted his video to get to the point quickly while being funny and “provocative,” so he chose car pooling “because it is the easiest thing you can do. It is easy to go to your office, ask some co-workers if they want to car pool every day – and you will save money and be more efficient.”

The contest invited videographers to exercise their creativity and compete for enticing prizes by illustrating the campaign’s tips for reducing gasoline use and costs.

Taking the junk out of the trunk and carpooling were among the most popular tips that competitors chose to dramatize cleverly and amusingly in many of the 65 qualifying entries, which showcased a potpourri of musical styles and visual genres.

Each entry was competing for a $5,000 cash grand prize from ExxonMobil and three others: Indy and NASCAR race day outings and a transportation package that includes new Michelin tires.

Before the public was invited to play film critic and determine the prize winners, five campaign partners – Bryan Herta Autosport, ExxonMobil, National Association of Counties, National Independent Auto Dealers Association and National Low Income Energy Consortium – narrowed the field to 10 finalists. BHA driver Daniel Herrington explained, “Being a judge for the Drive Smarter Challenge not only opened my eyes to the participant’s creativity but it was also a ton of fun. What a great way to interact with people on all of the small things that can make a big difference in a person’s energy use. Congratulations to all of the winners and we can’t wait to host Alec Wells of the ‘Car Pooling’ video at an IndyCar race next year.”

“We are thrilled that the Drive Smarter Challenge video contest drew so many imaginative, entertaining entries,” said Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, a campaign partner. “The contest was a new, fun way to spread our campaign’s message – that drivers can empower themselves to lower their vehicle fuel costs. Kudos to the winners and to the other 61 entrants!” Callahan also thanked all of the prize donors.

The other prizes go to:

Grand Prize: “Backseat Driver” by David Markus, who won $5,000;
Third Place: “Driving $mart: 3 Easy Tips” by Arturo Morales, who will get a VIP NASCAR Race Package (two tickets and two garage/pit passes to a NASCAR race event) donated by NASCAR; and
Fourth Place: “A Smarter GPS” by Andy Anderson, who claims the Transportation Efficiency Package, including four Michelin Energy Saver All Season Tires (or comparable tires for his vehicle), a one-year AAA membership donated by Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Be Tire Smart, and two memberships in the Silver Spoke League of American Bicyclists.

Even though the competition is over, the videos can still be viewed at http://drivesmarterchallenge.org/contest, along with the campaign’s fuel-efficiency tips and other resources, at the main website: http://drivesmarterchallenge.org.

The 17 Drive Smarter Challenge campaign partners are the Alliance to Save Energy, American Petroleum Institute, American Public Transportation Association, Bryan Herta Autosport, Car Care Council, Citizens for Affordable Energy, Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ExxonMobil, Green Solutions Magazine, League of American Bicyclists, NASCAR, National Association of Counties, National Association of State Energy Officials, National Independent Auto Dealers Association, National Fuel Funds Network, National Low Income Energy Consortium, and Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Be Tire Smart.

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