2001 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race
at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Long Beach, California -- Since 1977, a major highlight of every Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach has been the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race -- spotlighting a star-studded field of personalities from the worlds of sports and entertainment as they "put the pedal to the metal" in a 10-lap sprint to raise money for charity and thrill the thousands of spectators lining the 1.99-mile Champ car track.
Previous winners include Gene Hackman (1980), Ted Nugent (1983), Lorenzo Lamas (1985), Rick Schroder (1989), Stephen Baldwin (1990), and Andy Lauer (1998).
The winner of the 2000 race was actor Josh Brolin, whose father, James Brolin, won the very same race in 1978. Josh returned to defend his title in 2001.
Fast women: Racers Dara Torres, Sara Senske (back), Elisa Donovan and Piper Perabo.
Past entrants include Cameron Diaz, Matt LeBlanc, John Elway, Ashley Judd, Clint Eastwood, Jay Leno, and Kim Alexis. They’ll be mingling in the CART garage area, where you can spot car owners such as Paul Newman and David Letterman or race fans like Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Allen and Nicholas Cage.
"These friggin' droids never program the right coordinates when you're trying to turn."
This isn't just fun and gamesit's dangerous! During the 2000 race, the force was not with "Star Wars" creator George Lucas was shaken but unhurt after smacking his car into a wall during warm-ups. Lucas was escorted off the track, but declined medical treatment. After Lucas bit the dust, Donny Osmond flipped his car in the fifth lap after hitting a tire barricade. The car crashed louder than his last talk show with Marie.
The race occurs on Saturday, April 7. It will be broadcast in its entirety on ESPN, Saturday, April 28 at 3 p.m. ET.
"I will boldly go where no pampered celebrity racer has gone before!"
Since 1991 alone, Toyota has raised more than $800,000 for children's hospitals by putting these stars behind the wheel.
Jeff and Dan of SportsHollywood attended the celebrity practice at Willow Springs raceway in California on March 10. To see photos from the practice, click here. To see the results of this and last year's race, click here.
Racing photos are posted courtesy of Toyota Motorsports.
SportsHollywood tours the course at 150 MPH!
||Jeffrey C. Hause has written professionally (in a very amateur fashion) for entertainers like Jay Leno, Jim Carrey, Rodney Dangerfield, Gabe Kaplan, Rick Dees and people he'd rather not tell you about. He's also written screenplays at Warner Brothers, Disney, Universal, Columbia, Franchise Pictures, the Samuel Goldwyn Co., and Interscope. Here's his résumé. E-mail: email@example.com.