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Bucky Lasek Battles Through Turn One Incidents to Win 30th Anniversary Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race; Todd Bodine Wins Pro Category.

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- In a fast-paced race with celebrities and professional drivers swapping paint and demonstrating deft driving skills through multiple Turn One incidents, professional skateboarder Bucky Lasek - who won the 2006 PEOPLE pole award Friday - led from start to finish to win the 30th Anniversary Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. Todd Bodine, who worked his way from the 25 second handicap imposed on all professionals behind the celebrity participants, earned the top spot in the Pro Category and finished fourth overall.

"This event has been a fan favorite for three decades, one that over the years has been fueled by a collective passion for racing and competitive fire from hundreds of Hollywood's biggest stars," said Les Unger, Toyota's national motorsports manager. "Today was certainly a celebration of that spirit. A record number of 21 participants put on a great show."

Following a clean first five laps, Turn One proved to be the center of action with three major incidents within a two lap sequence. This included Toyota dealer Tom Rudnai, driving in the Pro Category, skirting into the tire barriers after being bumped by William Shatner. The Bold and the Beautiful star Antonio Sabato Jr., showing quick reflexes honed from recent race training, came hard around the blind turn and, rather than hit Rudnai, chose to put his car into the Turn One tires and end his race as well. Charity Auction winner Thom Naito was also caught up in the incident shortly thereafter.

Following this series of events, a yellow flag was followed by a red flag situation. Due to timing limitations, the race was checkered on lap number nine.

"It was an exciting race. I got out in front and no one was able to catch me," said Lasek. "I just concentrated on going faster and smoother, and did my best to stay out of trouble."

Toyota has donated close to 1.5 million dollars in the name of Pro Celebrity Race participants to "Racing for Kids," a national fund-raising program that benefits children's hospitals throughout the country. The children's hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County, California are the specific recipients of these monies. The 2006 race will be broadcast in its entirety on Speed Channel on April 22 at 2:30 p.m., EST.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 8, 2006
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