INDY Long Beach - Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race
The Pro/Celebrity race was a test of patience and driving skill in combination with camaraderie and a love of competition.
Press Room branding change to Toyota Pro/Celebrity event - Image Credit Edmund Jenks (2009)
The really fun thing about this type of event is that in the department store of life, Sports is the toy store ... Pro/Celebrity racing is a first step at realizing how toy-like this once proud pursuit can become.
Cars crunch the walls around the track as the Professional drivers set up the unsuspecting Celebrities into doing something stupid ... like crash into the wall at turn one because the driver was not going to let the professional "out-brake" them into the corner and pass. So the Professional pushes the Celebrity just enough but not enough to carry too much speed so that when the celebrity crashes, they could just scoot around and leave the carnage behind.
The Celebrity Dais from left to right - Carlos Mencia - Comedian and host of Comedy Central’s “Mind of Mencia.” Has appeared in “The Heartbreak Kid,” “29 Palms.”, Winner Keanu Reeves - Actor whose films include “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “The Matrix,” “The Matrix Reloaded,” “The Replacements,” “Speed,” “Walk in the Clouds,” “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”, last year's Celebrity winner Jamie Little - ESPN/ABC pit reporter for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series who returns to compete in the “Pro” category, and Eric Close - Actor, currently co-starring on CBS's “Without a Trace” as FBI agent Martin Fitzgerald. Other television roles include “Steven Spielberg's Taken,” “Now and Again,” “Dark Skies,” “Sisters,” “The Magnificent Seven.” - Image Credit Edmund Jenks (2009)
Keanu shares with reporters how he was able to end up winning the Celebrity category after a Green Flag restart toward the conclusion of the event.
Al Unser continues to have a week of his life - after being inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame on Thursday, re-dedicate the Weyland mural on the side of the Long Beach Convention Center on Friday, Al wins (in an extremely easy style) the Pro category of the 2009 Pro/Celebrity race.
A usually accessible Al Unser, Jr., signs a tee-shirt for a fan as he walks from the pits to an appearance at a sponsor event at the track. Image Credit Edmund Jenks (2009)
This excerpted and edited from China Daily -
Keanu Reeves revs engines to win Celebrity Race
China Daily - Updated: 2009-04-19 11:30
Keanu Reeves came in first among celebrities at the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at the 35th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach event on Saturday.
The “Matrix” star finished fourth overall in a mixed field that included racing pros Al Unser Jr., who won the 10-lap charity race, and Johnny Benson and Tom Rudnai, who finished second and third, respectively.
Other stars who revved up for the event included “Cadillac Records” star Adrien Brody, “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek, comedian Carlos Mencia, “24” star Mary Lynn Rajskub and “From G’s To Gents” host Fonzworth Bentley.
Welcome to the Toy Department!
... notes from The EDJE