Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame adds Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti during Grand Prix ceremony

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long beach grand prix motorsports walk of fameThe City of Long Beach and the Association of Long Beach will honor racing legends Danny Sullivan and Michael Andretti at the 5th Annual Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame induction ceremony.  Both men have won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach during their illustrious careers. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 15, 2010 during the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach week.

“I’m delighted that we are adding two more legendary drivers to the Motorsports Walk of Fame – Danny Sullivan and Michael Andretti,” said Mayor Bob Foster, who will be presenting the medallions to the honorees.  “Every year the Walk of Fame kicks off a great week of Grand Prix events that brings thousands to Long Beach.”

The ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. at the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame on South in front of the Convention Center, along the route of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

“Both of these driving legends certainly left their mark here at Long Beach and we are delighted to welcome them into the pantheon of existing honorees,” said Jim Michaelian, President/CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach.

Danny Sullivan raced 11 times at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, winning in 1992 when he set a record with an average speed of 91.945 mph.  In 1985, he made world-wide headlines for his incredible “spin and win” victory at the Indianapolis 500, where he spun around 360 degrees going 200 mph and went on to win one of the most memorable victories at the Brickyard. In addition, he was the 1988 CART World Series Champion and the Can-Am Rookie of the Year in 1980. Throughout his career he took a total of 17 checkered flags. He continues to contribute to the sport by helping to develop the next generation of Formula 1 drivers.

Michael Andretti has carved out a very impressive career as both a driver and owner. Andretti’s first checkered flag was the 1986 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, and his final victory as a driver was also in the Toyota Grand Prix, in 2002. Along the way he became the winningest driver in CART history, with 42 victories, including the season championship in 1991. He received the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award in 1984. After leaving the cockpit in 2003, Andretti went on to become the winningest owner in Indy Racing League history, with Indy 500 victories in 2005 and 2007, 34 IndyCar Series wins as well as consecutive IndyCar Series championships in 2004 and 2005.

The Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame, located on South Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach, was created to honor key contributors to motorsports and annually inducts new members during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race week. Each inductee is honored by a 22-inch bronze medallion in the sidewalk that includes a rendition of the racer’s car and lists major achievements in motor sports. The medallions proceed up the center of the palm-lined sidewalk alongside the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race circuit in front of the Long Beach Convention Center.

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