Long Beach Grand Prix: Rutledge Wood wins Pro/Celebrity race
Despite getting distracted at the beginning of the race and missing the start, television personality Rutledge Wood won Saturday’s Toyota Pro/Celebrity charity race at the Long Beach Grand Prix.
Actors Brett Davern and Michael Trucco were second and third, respectively. In the pro category, comedian and radio host Adam Carolla took the checkered flag.
Wood edged out Davern by about a second and a half, and Trucco was roughly an additional four seconds back.
Woods, who began the race in the first position, said he missed the start. By the time he got going, two drivers were in front of him.
“I was thinking ‘Oh, third place, that sounds fun,’” Wood said after the race. After spending the race hoping to stay in one piece, Wood was thrilled to come out on top.
“I have no idea how this is possible,” he said. “This was the most fun I’ve ever had.”
Wood is no stranger to driving. The racing analyst for the Speed Network also co-hosts the American iteration of “Top Gear” on the History channel. The show, which is in its third season, features a trio of hosts who test and compare various new and modified cars.
Carolla is also no stranger to motor sports. He won the celebrity class of the 2012 Pro/Celebrity event, and came back in 2013 as a pro.
Throughout the year, Carolla competes in various vintage races. Although those events are a thrill, Carolla said, racing in front the larger Long Beach crowd adds an element.
“I do some vintage races and it’s in front of nine people and it’s exciting,” Carolla said. “But when 40,000 people show up it’s just a little more exciting.”
Carolla was joined in the pro ranks by Olympic swimmer Tyler Clary, who finished second in his class; Melanie Troxel; and Andy Bell.
The rest of the field included celebrities such as Jenna Elfman, Wanda Sykes and Jeremy Sisto. Actor Jesse Metcalfe dropped out of the event after Friday’s practice.
The Toyota Pro/Celebrity race puts the entire field into identical Scion FR-S cars that have been modified to withstand the demands of racing. Toyota said that since 1991, the race has raised more than $2 million for Racing for Kids, a program that raises money for children’s hospitals.