Zachary Levi posted the fastest time of all celebrities to earn the pole position in the 34th-annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. Levi, the star of the NBC sitcom “Chuck,” narrowly beat actors Adrien Brody and Brian Austin Green in the qualifying race. Levi will lead the pack tomorrow in what has become the world’s longest-running, most successful celebrity racing event. CART Champion Jimmy Vasser finished first among all drivers and won in the Pro category, followed closely by Formula Drift Champion Tanner Foust.
“Zachary put on quite a display this afternoon,” said Les Unger, national motorsports manager with Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “The hard work and determination he displayed throughout our training sessions paid off. The commitment and enthusiasm of all the drivers competing in this event demonstrates exactly what the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is all about.”
“I did it!” said an exuberant Levi at a news conference after the qualifying session. “This is a great race, with a terrific group of people, that benefits an amazing cause. I can’t describe how pumped I am for tomorrow’s race.”
As pole-position winner in the qualifying session, Levi designated his $15,000 donation in conjunction with the 13th-annual People Pole Award to the charity Operation Smile, which works to transform the lives of children who suffer from cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.
Furthermore, Toyota will donate $5,000 to Racing for Kids in the name of each celebrity racer and an additional $5,000 to the winning racer’s charity of choice. Racing for Kids is a national nonprofit program benefiting children hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County, Calif. Toyota has donated $1.8 million on behalf of the race and its participants to various children hospitals since 1991.
Saturday’s race starts at 11:50 a.m. PDT.