Celebrity Race Belongs To Carolla

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Adam Carolla won Saturday's Toyota Pro/Celebrity race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. (Al Steinberg photo)
Adam Carolla won Saturday's Toyota Pro/Celebrity race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. (Al Steinberg photo)

LONG BEACH, Calif. — The third time proved to be the charm for funnyman Adam Carolla, who started on the outside of the front row and got around actor Kim Coates on the fourth lap and sped away to victory in the 10-lap race around the 1.968-mile Long Beach Grand Prix circuit.

Coates eventually was involved in an incident in the hairpin, and faded to 17th in the 18-car field. Coates was awarded the pole based on Friday morning practice speeds, as heavy rains forced cancellation of qualifying.

Coming home second was actor Hill Hunter, who charged from his eighth place start to pressure Carolla the final few laps. Hill also turned the fastest lap among the celebrities.

Third place was charity auction winner Biff Gordon, followed by Drifting champion Frederic Aasbo, who took the Pro division, with SPEED TV’s Rutledge Wood rounding out the top five.

There were the usual fender-benders in the event, none of a serious nature: One was a coming together between Eddie Cibrian and Brody Jenner, the other the incident that took Coates out of contention.

Carolla was amusing in the post-race press conference, getting off any number of zingers, including, “This is the kind of perk that makes being a celebrity worth while…not the big house on the hill or big bank account, it’s things like this…this is why you should try to become a celebrity.”

Toyota has donated more than $2 million on behalf of the race and its participants to various children’s hospitals since 1991.

The finish:

Adam Carolla, Hill Harper, Biff Gordon, Frederic Aasbo (Pro), Rutledge Wood, Cain Velasquez, William Fichtner (Pro), Adrian Brody, Jim Jonsin (Pro), Kate del Castillo, Jerry Westlund, Jillian Barberie Reynolds, Bryan Clausan (Pro), Doug Fregin, Eileen Dicinson, Eddie Cibrian, Kim Coates, Brody Jenner.

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