MX-5: Trois-Rivieres - Patrick Dempsey spotlight

Grey's Anatomy Star Patrick Dempsey Prepares for MX-5 Cup Races TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. (Aug. 18, 2007) -- Better known for making hearts race as Dr. Derek Sheperd, a.k.a. McDreamy, on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, Patrick Dempsey will take part in some...

Grey's Anatomy Star Patrick Dempsey Prepares for MX-5 Cup Races

TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. (Aug. 18, 2007) -- Better known for making hearts race as Dr. Derek Sheperd, a.k.a. McDreamy, on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, Patrick Dempsey will take part in some more traditional racing at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières when he competes in Round Seven of the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup.

A hectic filming schedule has kept Dempsey's race-seat time to a minimum so far this season, but after wrapping up work on his latest movie, the actor is ready to return to his favorite hobby in a series that will quickly bring his skills back up to par.

"I think the competition is unbelievable in MX-5 Cup," Dempsey said. "If you can be competitive in this series, you can be competitive in any series. It really teaches you momentum and working on your line, plus the cars are a lot of fun to drive."

Dempsey's love of racing is a life-long one. Growing up attending races like the Indy 500 with his father, it wasn't long before being a spectator wasn't enough and racing school beckoned. As his acting career blossomed with the success of Grey's Anatomy, so did his racing career. Now an Indy Racing League team owner as well as driver in SCCA and Grand-American races, Dempsey has found that racing and acting give his life a calming yet productive balance.

"It's in my contract when I renegotiated that I had to be able to race," smiled Dempsey. "It's important for my well being and their well being, because I come back to the set humbled and grateful that I got the opportunity to slip away. I appreciate my day job more and vice versa when I get to come to the track.

"A lot of the pros I've met through the racing schools, so they've known me before [Grey's Anatomy]. They're pretty good natured in tearing me down and keeping me in line with practical jokes and things like that. I'm glad I got into racing prior to the success of the show, but certainly the success of the show helps me with sponsorship. Supercuts® has been really great and I have a great relationship with Mazda and got to do the voiceovers for all their commercials."

For Sunday's 45-minute MX-5 Cup race, Dempsey will step behind the wheel of the No. 29 AutismSpeaks.org/Team MER MX-5. As a parent of three children, the mission of Autism awareness is easy for Dempsey to identify with.

"We're seeing more cases of Autism being diagnosed and we don't know where it's coming from or why it's happening, especially more in boys. I have two young sons and it's certainly a concern of mine. I think for anyone who's a parent and anyone who has to go through this, it's a difficult thing, but there's a lot of help out there now that wasn't there before. The big thing is to be aware and watch your newborn, talk to your doctor and educate yourself about it. That's why it's great to be a part of Autism Speaks."

"We're really happy that Patrick has agreed to drive the Autism Speaks car," Team MER representative Marc Miller said. "Ever since my son was diagnosed it's been a passion of mine. Thankfully with the support of the team we can provide some exposure to the organization and what they're doing and having Patrick driving the car is an added boost to the whole program."

Dempsey will return to MX-5 Cup competition, September 20 -- 22, at Miller Motorsports Park for the series finale. The Salt Lake City, Utah road course was the site of Dempsey's MX-5 Cup debut last year.

All the latest news from Round Seven of the MX-5 Cup, including live timing and lap notes can be found at www.mx-5cup.com. Sunday's race is scheduled to go green at 9:20 a.m. (EDT). Every MX-5 Cup race will be broadcast on SPEED, dates and times TBD.

For more information about Autism Speaks visit www.autismspeaks.org

-credit: scca

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Series SCCA
Drivers Patrick Dempsey , Marc Miller