LONG BEACH, Cali. (April 4, 2006) -- As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has a break in the 25-race schedule, this week David Reutimann travels to Long Beachto compete in the 30th Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race on Saturday, which is part of the...
LONG BEACH, Cali. (April 4, 2006) -- As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has a break in the 25-race schedule, this week David Reutimann travels to Long Beachto compete in the 30th Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race on Saturday, which is part of the 32nd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
"Racing in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race is aonce in a lifetime opportunity," said Reutimann, who is currently fourth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings after four races in his No. 17 Team Tundra Racing Toyota. "Guys like me normally don't get to hang out with people like that. I'vebeen able to just sit around and talk about racing withthe celebritiesjust like I do with guys in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. We also talk about how different our lifestyles are. It's really unique and I'm blown away by the whole experience."
Reutimann joins Todd Bodine and a host of other pro/celebrity drivers that will race through a 1.97-mile street circuit for a 10-lap feature in a 2005 race-ready Scion tC.
"It's an honor that Toyota asked us to be a part of this event," said Reutimann. "These celebrities and other professional drivers are really good. Todd and I are going to have to work really hard for either one of us to win this thing. Frankie Muniz won it last year and he's racing in the event again."
Building up to the race has been an experience Reutimann will never forget.
"Being that I am a Star Trek fan from way back, meeting William Shatner a few weeks ago when we were practicing at Willow Springs was huge for me," said Reutimann. "I'm also a fan of the X Games and I was able hang out with Bucky Lasek and Dave Mirra, which was awesome. It's just really neat to be able to meet the people you've watched on TV. It wasn't long ago I waswatching Shannon Miller during the Olympics. Racing with all of them issomething that I will always remember."
Toyota will donate $5,000 in the name of each driver to "Racing for Kids", which is a non-profit program benefiting children's hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County. More than $100,000 will be donated. An additional $15,000 will go to the pole-sitter's charity of choice in an award presented by PEOPLE magazine.
"It's a great event that brings together celebrities and sports figures to benefit numerous charities," said Reutimann. "We're also going to make a special visit to MillerChildren's Hospital on Thursday before practice and qualifying on Friday."