Adam Carolla is the Celebrity Favorite in 2010 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race
2010-04-06 · By Editor
Las Vegas gaming expert Anthony Curtis chose Adam Carolla as the celebrity pick to challenge the pros in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race on Saturday, April 17, part of the 34th-annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Carolla is best known for his comedic flair and successful podcast empire. This self-taught auto expert will be trailed by Zachary Levi, star of NBC’s “Chuck,” and actor Patrick Warburton, who are projected to go head-to-head for second place.
Curtis, president of LasVegasAdvisor and one of the world’s most recognized and quoted gambling authorities, has been handicapping the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race for many years and understands what it takes for the drivers to do well in the race, which donates money to the national nonprofit charity Racing for Kids.
“I know this track because I’ve driven it,” said Curtis. “I’ve watched these drivers train, and it’s empowering to see the excitement and competitiveness surrounding the participants. It’s going to pay off at the finish line with children in need getting the ultimate prize—it’s a win-win for all.”
Curtis has sized up how the field of 19 celebrities and pros will perform in this historic, 10-lap race for charity, which is conducted in race-ready Toyota Scion tCs on a 1.97-mile street circuit through the downtown streets of Long Beach in Southern California.
“It’s been a pleasure to have Anthony Curtis handicap the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race once again for entertainment purposes,” said Les Unger, Toyota’s national motorsports manager. “Every year, his picks take the competition up a notch for the drivers and add an extra dimension of fun for the audience.”
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 national nonprofit program that locally benefits children’s hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County, Calif. On behalf of the race and its participants, Toyota has donated more than $1.8 million to various children’s hospitals since 1991.
Finally, a $15,000 donation is made in conjunction with the 13th-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 16.
After watching four days of drivers’ training in the California desert, here are Curtis’ top 5 picks for celebrities:
Adam Carolla (11-1) – Carolla may just be a serious contender to win this year’s Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. He showed tremendous speed and control during training and has previous race experience from 2003.
Zachary Levi (12-1) – Showing strong speed and a definite threat to win. Trackside reports revealed that Levi may have additional ‘insight’ on how to capture the checkered flag in this year’s race. Keep your eye on this one.
Patrick Warburton (15-1) – Quirky salesman from “Seinfeld” should be a strong contender. He just needs to focus on driving the track.
Brian Austin Green (16-1) – The second-time competitor has made great progress during training. He’s still catching up on techniques, but don’t count out this ‘90210’ original castmate just yet.
Adrien Brody (20-1) – A fast driver who rehearsed on this street course just one year ago, he could surprise all and earn a new trophy to put next to his Oscar.
Also in the field in this year’s race are charity auction winners Dave Pasant and Jerry Westlund. Each entrant donated upwards of $60,000 to Racing for Kids to compete alongside the celebs in the 2010 race. Charity Auction Winners:
Dave Pasant (27-1) – Former insurance executive and four-time charity auction winner Pasant will drive against the competition and use his previous race experience to his advantage.
Jerry Westlund (32-1) – After a less than stellar finish in 2007, Westlund returns for a second attempt at the checkered flag.
The celebrity field is set to test their skills against a strong contingent of professionals. The celebs might have a 30-second head start, but with Jimmy Vasser leading the way, the professionals will catch up quickly. Here’s how Curtis ranks the Professionals:
Jimmy Vasser (2-1) – IndyCar World Series Champion Vasser is very fast and will have an advantage with extensive race experience. Vasser is definitely the one to beat.
Tanner Foust (7-2) – Will the talented Scion Racing Champion and pro driver use his racing talent to drift his way past the competition to win the pro category?
Steve Millen (7-1) – A Racing Champion, this veteran might be able to make up with his vast experience.
Jamie Bestwick (10-1) – While this BMX Champion is still learning, he’s getting more precise with every session. Can he come out on top with a victory in this year’s Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race?
Marty Nothstein (11-1) – “The Blade” will make his second attempt to speed around the 11-turn track and cross the finish line first among the pros.
Keanu Reeves (12-1) – His sharp skills and driving techniques enabled him to win the race by a slim finish in 2009. Can he pull off a nail-biting finish again this year?
(Celebrity odds are provided for entertainment purposes only. Wagering on the outcome of the race is neither encouraged nor implied.)