It also puts Carolla at the head of the celebrity class, before "Chuck's" Zachary Levi, skateboarder Tony Hawk, Mr. Megan Fox – otherwise known as Brian Austin Green, and soon-to-be-Predator-hunter Adrien Brody. The field of Scion tCs will blast around the 1.97-mile circuit on April 17, and to paraphrase Gone in 60 Seconds, "Go, Carolla, go."
[Source: Las Vegas Advisor]
Pro Driver Jimmy Vasser Tapped by Handicapper Anthony Curtis to Take the Checkered Flag In Prestigious Grand-Prix-Style Race on April 17
LONG BEACH, Calif., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Adam Carolla is the celebrity pick selected by Las Vegas gaming expert Anthony Curtis 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. He offers his exclusive expert predictions solely for entertainment purposes on www.lasvegasadvisor.com.
Here's the morning-line on how Curtis sees the field of 19 after their four days of drivers' training at an undisclosed location in the California desert.
* Adam Carolla (11-1) - Funnyman Carolla may just be a serious contender to win this year's Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. This versatile entertainer showed tremendous speed and control during training and could advance across the finish line first to win. Has race experience and competed in this race in 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" will test his vehicle knowledge behind the wheel of a race-ready Scion tC. Should be a strong contender; has race experience and competed in this event previously. Good driver and has understanding of car performance. Has tendency to look in mirrors too often. Needs to focus on driving the track and not on the traffic.
* Brian Austin Green (16-1) - Second-time competitor in this race and could be viewed as the 'sleeper' in the bunch. After getting familiar with the Scion tC, made great progress during training. 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. If Brody can maintain his speed and keep his focus from training, he could surprise all and earn a new trophy to put next to his Oscar.
* Chris Ashworth (23-1) - North Hollywood Toyota vice president and Formula One fan has a new role to add to his resume. Can be somewhat aggressive driving the car, but if Ashworth manages to smooth out he could be competitive at fast speeds.
* Tony Hawk (26-1) - Fast on the skateboard, but had a slow start during driver's training. While this fearless competitor has conquered the world of skateboarding, will he be able to skate to a first place finish in this year's 10-lap race for charity?
* Jesse McCartney (26-1) - Whether singing, songwriting, acting or race car driving, this multifaceted artist is ready for the challenge. Started out knowing the least, but has gained the most knowledge. Look for McCartney to put his quick learning skills to the test while getting better and better.
* Christian Slater (26-1) - In his latest role as Toyota race car driver, will Slater be able to headline and win this year's celebrity race? He missed one full day of training, but has shown significant improvement. Track spies say don't count him out just yet. He's eager to learn and apply new techniques.
* Tika Sumpter (35-1) - Will this actress and former model be able to lead the fast-paced field during this year's 10-lap charity battle? Sumpter has made great improvements since day one of training. Has learned not to overdrive the Scion tC and is ready to bring her high energy to take on the twists and turns of the world famous Long Beach road course.
* Megyn Price (45-1) - Has Price discovered a newfound love for auto racing as she prepares to put on a performance in this year's Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race? Still making great progress and could surprise all and qualify for a front spot. If she can stay focused and keep her rhythm, she'll do fine.
The Southern California Toyota dealer seat is being filled by Chris Ashworth, vice president and partner of North Hollywood Toyota. 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. More consistent than in past years and should run a good race.
* Jerry Westlund (32-1) - After a less than stellar finish in 2007, Westlund returns for a second attempt at the checkered flag. Westlund won another chance to try again by being the high bidder in the Boys and Girls Club charity auction. Will do well if he stays focused.
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.
* Jimmy Vasser (2-1) - IndyCar World Series Champion Vasser is very fast and will have an advantage with extensive race experience. His speeds are off the charts, but the competition is close behind. 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) - Racing Champion and veteran Millen is another outstanding driver with racing in his blood. Just a tick off Vasser and Foust in terms of speed, he might be able to make up with his vast experience.
* Jamie Bestwick (10-1) - Can BMX Champion Bestwick ramp up his driving skills to come out on top with a victory in this year's Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race? While still learning, he's getting quicker and more precise with every session. Not bad for a first attempt at road racing.
* 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. Has a smooth and consistent style and will not go out without a fight.
* Keanu Reeves (12-1) - Will the 2009 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race Champion have what it takes to compete with the pros? His sharp skills and driving techniques enabled him to win the race by a slim finish. Can he pull off a nail-biting finish again this year?
"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.
NOTE: Celebrity odds are provided for entertainment purposes only. Wagering on the outcome of the race is neither encouraged nor implied.
ABOUT ANTHONY CURTIS
Anthony Curtis is one of the world's most recognized and quoted gambling authorities. The president of LasVegasAdvisor, he has appeared as a casino expert on "Dateline NBC," "48 Hours," A&E, E! Entertainment, Discovery, The Travel Channel, The Food Channel and The Learning Channel. He has been the subject of articles in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel and Discover magazine. Curtis is author of Bargain City-Booking, Betting and Beating the New Las Vegas and The Art of Gambling Through the Ages. Considered one of the world's foremost experts in tournament play, Curtis's top tournament wins include $76,000 in the World Matchplay Blackjack Championship, $125,000 in the Atlantic City Craps Championship, $50,000 in the Las Vegas Keno Championship and $60,000 in the Las Vegas Blackjack Championship.