The red carpet and race cars are ready as Toyota announced today the participants from film, television, music, sports and the military who will compete for checkered flag glory in the 2013 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.
The 37th annual charity race will take place April 20 on the 1.97-mile street course in downtown Long Beach, Calif., as part of the 39th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The field of racers will navigate the new 210-horsepower Scion FR-S race vehicles through high speed turns to benefit Racing for Kids, a national fundraising program supporting children’s hospitals throughout the United States.
This year’s field of popular celebrity racers includes:
• Cristian Castro: Grammy Award-nominated and best-selling Mexican pop singer. Famous from a young age, one of his best known albums is " Mi Vida Sin Tu Amor ," with four singles in the top ten of Billboard’s Hot Latin tracks. In April, he will release a new album " Primera Fila ," celebrating 20 years as a singer.
• Kate del Castillo: Mexico’s most acclaimed actress, best known for her starring role in long-running mini-series “La Reina del Sur.” Other credits include “Under the Same Moon,” “Trade” and a guest appearance on the Showtime series “Weeds.”
• Brett Davern: Actor who stars as Jake Rosati in MTV’s hit series “Awkward.” Other credits include the film, “Beautiful Ohio” and appearances in “Cold Case,” “CSI: Miami,” “In Plain Sight,” and “Medium.”
• Jenna Elfman: Actress known for her quirky role on the TV series “Dharma & Greg,” which earned her a Golden Globe Award. She now stars as the first lady in the family comedy “1600 Penn.” Film credits include “Friends with Benefits” and “Keeping the Faith.”
• Jessica Hardy: A multiple world record-holder in swimming and a 2012 Olympic medalist. A Long Beach, Calif. native, she also does motivational speaking and served as an ambassador for the United States Olympic Committee Team For Tomorrow.
• Jesse Metcalfe: Actor best known for his role as a teen gardener on “Desperate Housewives” and who currently stars in the TNT continuation of “Dallas,” based on the 1978 series of the same name. Film credits include “John Tucker Must Die” and “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.”
• Dakota Meyer: Former U.S. Marine who received the Medal of Honor for his 2009 actions in Afghanistan. He wrote, Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War, fundraises with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the Hiring Our Heroes program.
• Jackson Rathbone: Actor best known for playing Jasper Hale in the hit “Twilight” movie series. Other film credits include “The Last Airbender.”
• Michelle Rodriguez: Film actress best known for her tough girl physical roles, including starring in the record-breaking sci-fi film “Avatar,” the successful “Fast & Furious” franchise, the 2012 hit “Resident Evil: Retribution” and as a tough LAPD cop in TV’s “Lost.”
• Jeremy Sisto: Actor best known for playing Billy Chenowith on the series “Six Feet Under.” He also played Detective Cyrus Lupo on “Law & Order” and currently stars in the series “Suburgatory.”
• Mark Steines: Emmy award-winning journalist and host of the Hallmark Channel’s new how-to show, “Home & Family.” He spent more than 17 years on “Entertainment Tonight,” establishing himself as a trusted and charismatic figure in entertainment news.
• Wanda Sykes: Emmy award-winning comedian, writer and actress who ranks among Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Funniest People in America. She has hosted her own late night talk show, “The Wanda Sykes Show” and has appeared on TV shows including, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and films such as “Evan Almighty.”
• Michael Trucco: Actor best known for playing Samuel Anders on SyFy’s acclaimed series “Battlestar Galactica” and Justin Patrick on the USA Network series “Fairly Legal.” Other credits include appearances on “Revenge,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “One Tree Hill.”
• Rutledge Wood: Auto racing analyst on Fox Sports/SPEED and co-host of “Top Gear USA.”
Pro drivers competing against the stars for the title include motocross champion and MTV’s “Nitro Circus” star Andy Bell, 2012 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race winner and comedian Adam Carolla, Olympic gold medalist swimmer Tyler Clary and National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) driver Melanie Troxel.
“This talented and inspiring celebrity group will not only help Toyota share the story of this long-running charity event, but they also will feel the rush behind the wheel on the famous Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach track,” said Les Unger, Toyota national motorsports manager. "The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race thrills both the participants and the crowds while giving back to kids in our communities through donations to Children's Hospital of Orange County and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach."
Rounding out the field is Glenn Faber, partner and general manager of Los Angeles area Keyes Toyota, as well as two charity auction winners: Dave Pasant, a retired insurance executive, and Carter Lay, philanthropist and LAY’S chips heir.
The Toyota Pro/Celebrity race is one of the longest-running, corporate sponsored events of its kind. Since 1991, Toyota has donated more than $2 million to the Racing for Kids organization, on behalf of this race and its participants. In addition to Toyota’s contributions, a $15,000 donation will be made in conjunction with the 16th annual “People Pole Award.” Sponsored by People magazine, the award honors the pole-position winner of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race qualifying session on April 19.
To learn more about the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, visit www.toyotaracing.com/series/toyota-pro-celebrity.html.
Source: PR Newswire