The whole experience was incredible. I owe huge thanks to Jayme Lawson and Les Unger from Toyota that were the ones who invited me to be in the race. I grew up watching the race, dreaming one day, “Wouldn’t it be so cool to be in this race, in a car that someone could actually buy at a dealership (not a million $ race car) and race on a track that so few people actually get a chance to run on.” And somehow, by the grace of God and a lot of kind people that like me, I got to fulfill this dream.
We trained with the world famous Danny McKeever and crew of Fast Lane Racing School. Our instructors were all top notch drivers and really fun people too. Dan, Jochen, Jim and Allison truly took a band of misfits and made us into decent racers in a very short amount of time. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to really drive a car and find the limits, I highly suggest calling Fast Lane and heading up to Willow Springs. They even have the old race cars from the Toyota Pro Celebrity Race, so you can race around in the same ones that we raced in.
The celebrities were a fun group: William Fichtner (last year’s winner-he was classified as a pro this year), Kim Coates, Adam Carolla, Cain Velasquez, Jillian Barberie Reynolds, Kate Del Castillo, Eileen Davidson, Adrian Brody, Eddie Cibrian, Hill Harper, Doug F. (charity auction winner), Jerry Westlund (charity auction winner), Biff Gordon(Toyota Dealer) and last but definitely not least, Brody Jenner.
The Pro’s were: Bryan Clauson, Fredric Aasbo, and Jim Jonsin.
We had so much fun throughout the whole thing. People kept talking about it like we were going off to summer camp, because that’s the kind of bonding we had together. The race is going to be on SPEED in the next few weeks, and although you might not hear my name mentioned very much, you’ll see me almost the entire time right up there with the front guys mixing it up. I was in the light blue # 6 car.
I can’t say thank you enough to everyone at Toyota (Jayme,Les,Keith,Ed) for having all of us, Chuck and everyone that kept the cars running so well, Rita & Kayla, the whole PR team, the picture & video team, Racing for Kids, and everyone else that helped make this dream come true, especially my fellow competitors. I hope I get the chance to do this again, but if I don’t, I know I will always have this incredible memory of it, and some friends that I hope will last a lifetime.
Here are a few pics from the weekend. Enjoy!