LONG BEACH, Calif., March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- An unprecedented number of
female stars of film, television and sports will be donning their helmets
and strapping their seatbelts in race-ready Toyota Scion tCs for this
year's Toyota/Pro Celebrity Race on Saturday, April 14, as part of the 33rd
Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070306/CLTU105LOGO )
For the first time ever, women dominate the field of 19 in this
historic, 10-lap race for charity through a 1.97-mile street circuit
through the downtown streets of Long Beach in Southern California. The
Pro/Celebrity race, one of six featured events during race weekend, gives
fans a chance to see their favorite stars duke it out on the track during
exciting action- packed competition.
Fans also can log onto Hollywagers.com to see how professional race
handicappers think the celebrity drivers stack up. [The odds have been
presented solely for entertainment purposes exclusively by Hollywagers.com
, powered by Pregame.com , the country's largest bet-centric information
site. There will be no actual wagering on the outcome of the race.]
The expected field of 19 includes the following group of fiercely
competitive entertainment personalities, internationally known celebrities,
sports stars and media:
-- Kathryn Morris (22-1) Actress; stars as Lily Rush in the CBS TV
drama Cold Case. Also appeared in the films
"Paycheck," "Hostage," "Minority Report,"
"As Good as it Gets."
-- Chris Klein (14-1) Katie Holmes' ex-boyfriend, actor, starred
as "Oz" in "American Pie" films
-- Emily Procter (16-1) Actress, best known for her role of Calleigh
Duquesne in CBS' CSI: Miami and recurring
guest role on NBC's The West Wing
-- Aisha Tyler (20-1) Actress, stand-up comedian and occasional
writer. NAACP Image Award winner. Former
host of Talk Soup. TV appearances include
Ghost Whisperer, CSI, 24, Friends. Film
work includes "The Santa Clause" 2 & 3 and
the upcoming feature comedy "Balls of Fury"
-- Kendra Wilkinson (25-1) Model and TV personality best known as one
of the three live-in girlfriends of Playboy
founder Hugh Hefner in the E! reality TV
series The Girls Next Door
-- George Lucas (15-1) Four-time Academy Award nominated director,
producer, and screenwriter of the epic Star
Wars saga and collaborator on the Indiana
-- Dave Mirra (7-1) Professional BMX rider, former host of MTV's
Real World/Road Rules Challenge; 14 medals
at the X Games
-- Martina Navratilova (6-1) Former World No. 1 woman tennis player,
International Tennis Hall of Famer
-- John Salley (18-1) Sportscaster, Best Damn Sports Show Period;
retired from NBA Detroit Pistons
-- Joshua Morrow (8-1) Emmy Award-nominated actor; plays Nicholas
Newman on The Young and the Restless. Plays
on the World Poker Tour.
-- Kelly Hu (10-1) Actress and former fashion model. First
Asian American to win Miss Teen USA (1985);
crowned Miss Hawaii USA in 1993 and a
finalist for Miss USA (1993). Currently
stars in the ABC-TV drama, In Case of
-- Robin Quivers (12-1) Radio personality; Howard Stern's primary
co-host on his morning satellite radio show.
Author of the autobiography, "Quivers: A
As the winner of the 2006 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, professional
skateboarder and X Games Gold Medalist Bucky Lasek returns in the "Pro"
category in 2007. "Last year was my first time out and it was a blast,"
said Lasek. "This year, being back with the pros, my strategy is to stick
as close as I can, try to get through traffic quickly and just hold better
lines than everybody else."
Lasek joins three other drivers in the "Pro" category including NASCAR
Craftsman Truck Series Pro Champions Mike Skinner and Todd Bodine and NHRA
Champion Scott Kelley. The Southern California Toyota Dealer is being
represented by Tustin Toyota General Manager RJ Romero.
Rounding out the field are two novice drivers, Jerry Westlund and
Annamarie Dean, who each won places in the race for donations they made in
two different charity auctions.
"This is sure to be one of the most unique races we've had in the three
decades we've been conducting the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race," said Les
Unger, Toyota's national motorsports manager. "Traditionally, we've found
that women are some of the more competitive drivers, but -- win or lose --
this is a race that's exciting for all the celebrities and pros alike
because it offers the high-speed challenge of real racing, combined with a
worthwhile charitable endeavor."
Toyota will donate $5,000 to "Racing for Kids" in the name of each
celebrity racer, and another $5,000 to the winning racer's charity of
choice. Racing for Kids is a non-profit program benefiting children's
hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County, Calif.
Finally, a $15,000 donation is made in conjunction with the 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 13. On behalf of the race and its participants, Toyota has
donated close to $1.5 million to various children's organizations since
EDITOR'S NOTE: Celebrity odds are provided for entertainment purposes
only. Wagering on the outcome of the race is neither encouraged nor
SOURCE Toyota Motorsports, Inc.