Robert Huffman/Toyota Pro/Celebrity Event LONG BEACH, CA (April 8, 2001) Robert Huffman, from Claremont, NC and four time Champion of the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring competed in the 25th running of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race which...
Robert Huffman/Toyota Pro/Celebrity Event
LONG BEACH, CA (April 8, 2001) Robert Huffman, from Claremont, NC and four time Champion of the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring competed in the 25th running of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race which runs in conjunction with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Huffman finished the race in fifth place.
Dara Torres (Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer) started on the pole for the event. The line-up included 13 celebrities and four pro drivers. The celebrities were given a thirty second head start in the 10 lap event at the 1.97 mile Grand Prix road circuit on the streets of downtown Long Beach.
Torres dualed with Tom Rudnai (People Magazine) for the first 9 laps. The four pro drivers which included Scott Pruett, Josh Brolin, Sara Senske, and Robert Huffman quickly gained ground catching Piper Parabo (Coyote Ugly) just a couple laps into the event. As they worked traffic Huffman moved passed Senske and was able to stay with Pruett and Brolin as they continued through the field. Upon catching Erik Palladino (ER), Pruett and Brolin were able to make a quick pass. Palladino quickly moved to defend his position and made it very difficult for Huffman to pass. This allowed Pruett and Brolin to pull away from Huffman. By the time Huffman was able to pass Pallandino he was some 20 car lengths behind them.
Rudnai made a daring attempt to pass Torres and the two cars touched sending them in to a syncronized slide. This allowed Pruett to make his pass for the lead and Brolin followed. During the last two laps rain began falling onto the road circuit making the track very slippery. Pruett's experience at road racing carried him to an exciting win over Brolin and the other competitors.
Huffman was pleased with his fifth place finish. "I have never driven on a road course or in the rain!" said an exuberant Huffman. "That was so much fun!" Huffman found himself right at home with the other stars of the race. On Thursday they visited a local Children's Hospital. The weekend was filled with dinners and casual visiting time with the celebrities. Ashley Huffman (Rob's wife) commented, "The celebrities were so down to earth." Elisa Donovan (Sabrina, The Teenage Witch Co-Star) came and asked Rob to autograph her driver's suit. Jim Kelly (former star quarterback) was seen trying to climb into Huffman's Goody's Dash Series race car, which was on display in the Expo Center. Somewhere there is a picture floating around that shows Kelly getting stuck!
Now Huffman sets his sights on trying to defend his Championship as the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring returns to action April 28, 2001 at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC.
The Goody's Dash Series is one of nine NASCAR Touring Series that blanket the United States. NASCAR Touring brings special events to many NASCAR Weekly Racing Series tracks and some NASCAR superspeedways and road courses. NASCAR Touring Series can provide a competitor with an entire career, or they can provide valuable experience to competitors moving through the NASCAR ranks. Corporate sponsors make significant contributions to NASCAR Touring Series point funds. The sponsors include Anheuser-Busch, Featherlite Trailers, Gatorade, Goody's Headache Powders,O'Reilly Auto Parts, Raybestos Brakes, RE/MAX International, Inc., and R.J.Reynolds brand Winston.