CHAMPCAR/CART: 25th Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race attracts stars

LONG BEACH, Calif. (MARCH 20, 2001) - For the 25th consecutive year, top celebrities from film, television, sports and fashion are revving up to compete in the 2001 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. Toyota Motorsports today announced one of its most ...

LONG BEACH, Calif. (MARCH 20, 2001) - For the 25th consecutive year, top celebrities from film, television, sports and fashion are revving up to compete in the 2001 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.

Toyota Motorsports today announced one of its most renowned fields for the Silver Anniversary of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in Long Beach, Calif. on Saturday, April 7. The 10-lap race on the 1.99-mile Champ Car track is part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend.

A field of 17 participants includes William Shatner ("Star Trek" and "T.J. Hooker"), David Alan Grier ("DAG"), Chris McDonald ("Family Law"), Erik Palladino ("ER"), Elisa Donovan ("Sabrina, The Teenage Witch"), Piper Perabo ("Coyote Ugly"), Jim Kelly (former Buffalo Bills quarterback), Billy Blanks (Tae Bo inventor), Dara Torres (Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer), Mark Consuelos ("All My Children") and Mark Steines ("Entertainment Tonight" correspondent).

Returning to defend his 2000 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race title is Josh Brolin, most recently seen in "Hollow Man" and appeared in "Slow Burn," "All the Rage," and "Best Laid Plans."

Additionally, three other professional drivers are competing for a spot in the winner's circle, including young open-wheel racer Sara Senske, NASCAR Goody's Dash three-time defending champion Robert Huffman, and 10-year CART veteran Scott Pruett.

"The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is the only event of its kind, " said Les Unger, Toyota's national motorsports manager. "Throughout the 25-year history of the race, it has attracted a top-name celebrity field and become a fan-favorite at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach."

The current field of drivers also includes Dave Pasant, who is competing after making the high bid of $76,000 at last year's Toyota Grand Prix Charity Ball auction. Rounding out the field is Tom Rudnai, vice president and general manager of Longo Toyota and Lexus in El Monte, Calif.

As part of the event, Toyota will help raise more than $100,000 this year for "Racing for Kids," a non-profit program benefiting Southern California's children's hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County by donating $5,000 in the name of each participant. Another $5,000 will be awarded to the race winner's charity of choice.

Finally, a $10,000 donation will be made by PEOPLE Magazine in conjunction with the annual "PEOPLE Pole Award." The award honors the pole-position winner of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race qualifying session on Friday, April 6. Since 1991, the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race has generated more than $1 million for charity.

The 2001 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race will be broadcast in its entirety on ESPN, Saturday, April 28 at 3 p.m. ET.

-Toyota Motorsports

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Series IndyCar , Road racing
Drivers Chris McDonald , Scott Pruett , Mark Stein , Robert Huffman , William Shatner , Tom Rudnai