Papis Long Beach Pr/Celebrity race preview

Max Papis Joins Sean Astin, Lil' Kim, Frankie Muniz and More in Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race This Weekend LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 12, 2004) -- CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing driver Max Papis, who was on the pole last Saturday in the Rolex Sports Car...

Max Papis Joins Sean Astin, Lil' Kim, Frankie Muniz and More in Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race This Weekend

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 12, 2004) -- CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing driver Max Papis, who was on the pole last Saturday in the Rolex Sports Car Series Food City 250, will face-off against today's hottest stars from film, television, music and sports in a battle to the checkered flag at this weekend's 28th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. The world-renowned, 10-lap charity race will be held on the 1.99-mile downtown Long Beach street circuit on Saturday, April 17, in Long Beach, Calif.

The expected field of sixteen includes the following eclectic group of entertainment personalities, internationally known celebrities, and figures from sports and media:


* Sean Astin - 'Samwise Gamgee' in the Oscar-winning film "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
* Lil' Kim - Rap/Hip Hop Recording Artist
* Frankie Muniz - 'Malcolm' in FOX's "Malcolm in the Middle," "Agent Cody Banks," "Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London"
* Andrew Firestone - ABC's "The Bachelor"
* Laila Ali - Female Super Middleweight Boxing Champion
* Carlos Bernard - 'Tony Almeida' on FOX's "24"
* Andrea Parker - 'Lydia Weston' on ABC's "Less Than Perfect"
* Chris McDonald - 'Ted Shackleton' on the new FOX series "Cracking Up"
* Liza Snyder - 'Christine Hughes' on CBS' "Yes, Dear"
* Tony Potts - "Access Hollywood" Correspondent
* Melissa Joan Hart - "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch"

Papis will be competing in the "Pro" category along with the 2003 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race champion, Peter Reckell ('Bo Brady' on NBC's daytime soap "Days of Our Lives"), 2002 winner Dara Torres (Olympic Gold Medal-winning swimmer) and Mike Follmer (2002 International Jet Sports Boat Association Offshore Endurance Champion).

"The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is renowned for attracting celebrity and professional drivers because it offers the high-speed challenge of real racing," said Les Unger, Toyota's national motorsports manager. "With stars from film, television, music and sports, this year's race is sure to provide thrills for fans."

Also racing in this year's event are Cliff Cummings, owner of Toyota of San Bernardino; and Jill Pasant, who earned a spot by making the high bid of $60,000 for the 2004 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race seat at last year's Toyota Grand Prix Charity Ball auction.

As part of the event, Toyota will help raise more than $100,000 for "Racing for Kids," a non-profit program benefiting Southern California children's hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County. Toyota will donate $5,000 in the name of each participant and another $5,000 to the race winner's charity of choice. Finally, a $15,000 donation is made in conjunction with the seventh annual "PEOPLE Pole Award." Sponsored by PEOPLE magazine, the award honors the pole-position winner of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race qualifying session on Friday, April 16. In the past 13 years, the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race has generated more than $1 million for charity.

For more information Max Papis' bid for the 2004 North American Road Racing Championship, as well as the entire Rolex Sports Car Series, visit www.grandamerican.com.

-garra-

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Series Road racing
Drivers Chris McDonald , Max Papis , Chip Ganassi , Sean Astin , Liza Snyder , Andrea Parker , Cliff Cummings , Andrew Firestone , Peter Reckell , Jill Pasant , Melissa Joan Hart , Carlos Bernard , Mike Follmer , Frankie Muniz , Lil' Kim
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing