Miller Motorsports Park news 2007-08-29

Actor Patrick Dempsey to Contest Three Races in Two Days During Sunchaser 1000 Weekend at Miller Motorsports Park TOOELE VALLEY, UTAH (August 29, 2007) -- Actor Patrick Dempsey, who plays Dr. Derek Shepherd in the ABC television drama ...

Actor Patrick Dempsey to Contest Three Races in Two Days During Sunchaser 1000 Weekend at Miller Motorsports Park

TOOELE VALLEY, UTAH (August 29, 2007) -- Actor Patrick Dempsey, who plays Dr. Derek Shepherd in the ABC television drama "Grey's Anatomy," will compete in three different racing series during the Sunchaser 1000 weekend at Miller Motorsports Park, Sept. 13-15.

For Dempsey, of Los Angeles, Calif., a longtime motorsports enthusiast who began his professional racing career in 2005, this will be his most ambitious racing weekend ever. Combining his practice, qualifying and racing time, he will be putting in a total of approximately seven hours of intense concentration behind the wheel of three very different cars.

At 3:00 pm on Friday, September 14, Dempsey will kick off the marathon weekend in his customary ride, the No. 54 Supercuts Ford Mustang GT fielded by Hyper Sport in the GS class of the KONI Challenge Series, co-driving with Rick Skelton of Atlanta, Ga., in a 2.5-hour race.

The following morning at 10:00 am, Dempsey will jump into the No. 29 Mazda MX-5 Miata entered by Team MER for a solo drive in the 45-minute season finale for the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup series.

Thirty minutes after the end of the MX-5 Cup race, the green flag will fly for the weekend's premier event, the 7.5-hour Sunchaser 1000, the season-ending race for the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. In this race, Dempsey will be driving a brand-new car with a brand-new sponsor, the No. 40 SoBe Mazda RX-8 GT fielded by Hyper Sport, in his first-ever outing in the Rolex Series' GT class. He will co-drive with Joe Foster of Lawrenceville, Ga., and Charles Espenlaub of Lutz, Fla.

Dempsey began his racing career in the famed Toyota Pro/Celebrity race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2005. That same year he also competed in the Mazdaspeed Miata Cup and Panoz GT Racing Series, where he earned a pole position and a third-place result. Since 2006, he has been competing in the KONI Challenge Series with occasional drives in the SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup series.

In addition to his television work, which included a run on the popular series "Will and Grace," Dempsey has starred in feature films such as Can't Buy Me Love, Sweet Home Alabama, Loverboy, Scream 3, With Honors and Outbreak.

This year's Sunchaser 1000 will mark Dempsey's second appearance at Miller Motorsports Park. He raced in last year's inaugural event, and is happy to be making a return engagement in Utah.

"I'm really looking forward to returning to Miller Motorsports Park," Dempsey said. "It's a fantastic facility, and the fans there were great to me last year. This year I'm really going to have my hands full, driving three different cars in three different events, but I can't wait. I'm particularly happy to be debuting the SoBe Mazda RX-8 GT. We are using the Sunchaser 1000 to test the waters for Hyper Sport in the Rolex Series. Our goal is to start and finish the race as professionals, and get as much experience as we can."

Dempsey also has high hopes for his other two races at Miller Motorsports Park.

"While making my debut in the Rolex Series is a very big thing, I'm also very excited about our KONI Challenge Series race in the Supercuts Ford Mustang GT as well as getting another shot in the SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup series. I'll be having fun all weekend, but it takes a lot of work and coordination behind the scenes to make this all possible, and I'd like to thank all my teammates and sponsors for allowing me to be able to pursue my passion, which is driving great cars on great racetracks."

In addition to the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve, the KONI Challenge Series and the SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Series, other racing series that will be a part of the Sunchaser 1000 weekend include the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, Formula TR Pro Series, SCCA Spec Miatas and the season's final "Magic of Miller" Celebrity Race.

Tickets for the Sunchaser 1000 are reasonably priced from $25 per day and up, and are available at the Miller Motorsports Park Welcome Center or online at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, call the track at (435) 277-RACE or visit the website at www.millermotorsportspark.com.

-credit: mmp

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Skip Barber , Charles Espenlaub , Rick Skelton , Joe Foster , Patrick Dempsey