LONG BEACH, Calif., April 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- After much thought and consideration, and at the request of his producers, Stephen Moyer has decided not to take part in the 35th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. Moyer, the star of the HBO series "True Blood," has pulled out of the race in consideration of the cast and crew of his show, which is currently in production.
"While I'm disappointed I won't be racing today, I know it's in the best interest of my 'True Blood' family," said Moyer. "I look forward to cheering on my fellow racers and following all the race-day action."
In Moyer’s absence, actor William Fichtner will take the pole position in today’s race. As pole-position winner in Friday’s qualifying session, Moyer designated his $15,000 donation in conjunction with the 14th annual People Pole Award to the charity Facing the Atlantic. Facing the Atlantic is a project to raise funds for the humanitarian organization Facing the World, which is a U.K. charity that provides life-changing facial reconstructive surgery for children with severe facial disfigurements who are not able to access the surgery that they need in their own countries.
Toyota will donate $5,000 to Racing for Kids in the name of each celebrity racer and an additional $5,000 to the winning racer's charity of choice. Racing for Kids is a national nonprofit program benefiting children's hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County, Calif. Toyota has donated $1.9 million on behalf of the race and its participants to various children's hospitals since 1991.
The race starts at 11:40 a.m. PDT on Saturday, April 16.
To learn more about the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, one of six main-event attractions taking place during the 37th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, go to http://www.toyotaracing.com/ or follow us on Twitter @ToyotaRacing (#TPCR).