KODY SWANSON JOINS 2011 TOYOTA PRO/CELEBRITY RACE FIELD AT LONG BEACH APRIL 16
USAC’s “Most Improved Driver” of 2010, Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, Calif., has been selected to compete in the April 16 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race as part of the 2011 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach festivities.
Swanson will join a star-studded field of Hollywood’s elite to race for charity in an event dating back 35 years. Stars from film, television, music and sports will showcase their newly-earned racing chops in identically-prepared Scion tCs on the historic 1.97-mile street circuit through the downtown streets of Long Beach in southern California.
As the crown jewel of celebrity race events for more than three decades, the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race has managed to transform dozens of celebrities into high-speed racers while also changing the lives of children in need,” said Les Unger, Toyota’s national motorsports manager. “The race is a win-win for everyone; it gives fans a chance to see their favorite performers rush across a real racetrack while offering the celebrities an unparalleled opportunity to ‘give back’ to a worthwhile cause.”
Swanson will make his first start in the race this year and will be joined by last year’s winning celebrity driver, Brian Austin Green, drifting champion Kenshiro Gushi and top import drag-racing professional and founder of WORLD Motorsports Christian Rado in the Pro Category.
“The Toyota Pro/Celebrity race is so unique for everyone, for both racecar drivers and famous personalities, and I am really excited to have the opportunity to participate in such a historic event,” says Swanson. “While I look forward to such a special opportunity for me to compete as a participant, I am impressed with the commitment that Toyota has made to “Racing for Kids” and I am very happy to be included in an event with such a great cause.”
On behalf of each celebrity racer, Toyota donates $5,000 to Racing for Kids every year and another $5,000 to the winning racer’s charity of choice. Racing for Kids, a national nonprofit program benefiting children’s hospitals throughout the country, (in this case, Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach and Children’s Hospital in Orange County, Calif.), was created as a way to connect sick children with their favorite celebrities and race-car drivers. Toyota has donated more than $1.9 million to various children’s hospitals since 1991, on behalf of this race and its participants.
Additionally, a $15,000 donation will be made in conjunction with the 14th-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 15.
The following beloved entertainment and sports personalities are also slated to compete: Anthony Anderson, Tyson Beckford, Eddie Cibrian, Kim Coates, Kevin Eubanks, Dennis Haysbert, Djimon Hounsou, Kevin Jonas, Stephen Moyer, Tito Ortiz, Megyn Price, Jillian Reynolds and Kimora Lee Simmons.
To learn more about the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, one of six main-event attractions taking place during the 37th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, go to http://www.toyotaracing.com/.