TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH 2009: THE PRO/CELEBRITY RACE
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sun, May 17, 2009
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
(Kurt Fuhrmann photo) Mixing Pro racing drivers such as Al Unser Jr. with celebrities such as Keanu Reeves in a 10-lap race, while as entertaining as one might imagine, is really just a sideshow to the main attraction. The racing isn't in the same league as IndyCar, this is still good fun. Nonetheless, there isn't any clowning around on the track even though comedian Carlos Mencia (No. 18 car) is one of the competitors. Some of the other celebrities competing are News Editor of 'E', Ken Baker (No. 2), and Jeopardy's Alex Trebek (No. 20). Mary Lynn Rajskub (No. 4) starred in "Dude Where's My Car" but in this action adventure-comedy she needs to be concerned about the other cars as well as hers.
(John Grafman photo) During the qualifying laps skateboarding legend Danny Way (No. 9) won the pole position with the fastest qualifying time. Even during the race he was off to a great start and executing what appeared to be an unyielding lead. That is, until Fonzworth Bentley (No. 6) and Danny tangled up. This allowed Keanu Reeves to move up to first position ahead of Ken Baker and Carlos Mencia. This year's pro winners were Al Unser Jr. (No. 22) for his 7th Pro/Celebrity race win, Jonny Benson (No. 25) finishing 2nd, and Tom Rudnai, president of Longo Toyota (No. 21) rounding out the pros in third place. Keanu Reeves finished first amongst the celebrities with Ken Baker second, and Carlos Mencia coming in third. Poor Mary Lynn apparently didn't find her car until after the race started, she finished 14th. - Kurt Fuhrmann
LA Car's Long Beach Grand Prix coverage: LBGP 2009: The Circus Comes to Town LBGP 2009: Pro/Celebrity Race LBGP 2009: The Molly Sanders Interview LBGP 2009: Drifting LBGP 2009: The Tanner Foust Interview LBGP 2009: American Le Mans Series LBGP 2009: IndyCar Racing LBGP 2009: Speed World Championship LBGP 2009: Racing Goes Green LBGP 2009: The Grand Prix Lifestyle