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Carolla Takes Cake At Long Beach Grand Prix

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On: Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 3:52PM | By: Chris Salamone

Carolla Takes Cake At Long Beach Grand Prix

We’ve seen Adam Carolla do movies, standup comedy, pseudo-journalistic auto enthusiast TV shows, and celebreality. We’ve also seen him pick up a healthy appetite for vintage racing. Somehow though, despite frequent at bats, Mr. Carolla has struggled to achieve automotive stardom – following the burnt rubber of industry giants like Steve McQueen or Jay Leno.

But no longer: as of Saturday’s 36th Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Grand Prix at Long Beach, Adam Carolla has entered the annals of driving greatness by achieving victory despite nearby accidents and a late-stage challenger.

During laps 4 and 7, a pair of accidents from behind gave Carolla his window of opportunity. The wrecks substantially slowed down most of the race competition. Well, almost everyone…

CSI: NYstar Hill Harper came back from the deep wilderness, surging from a start position of eight and completing the quickest lap by a celebrity driver at 1:48.

“In like Lap 5 or 6, I was running eight to ten car lengths in front of second place. I was like, ‘OK, drive your line and you’ll be fine,’” Carolla recounted. “Then I felt a little tap on the rear end. I said, ‘Is that Hill Harper? Didn’t I lap that guy?’”

After a bump which shook Carolla’s world, the two drivers made a mad dash to the finish. The checkered flag fell with a .766 second advantage given to Carolla.

In case you’re wondering, the fastest lap time thankfully came from a professional driver, Fredric Aasbo from Formula Drift. Aasbo’s time was only slightly less than 1 second faster than Harper’s though. Which, even after 10 laps, would not be enough to overcome the pros’ 30 second handicap. Only 16 of 36 total races have seen a professional driver defy the race creators’ pre-ordained defeat.

Video of Carolla’s post-race debriefing shows the multi-talented celebrity proclaiming his enthusiasm: “I didn’t know how good this would feel. It’s awesome.” And although it took two acts of god, a 30 second professional advantage, and a relatively short 10 lap race, Carolla’s victory is no less well earned.

Few pros or enthusiasts could claim to have invested themselves so thoroughly. After three Grand Prix attempts, some other runs on the vintage racing circuit, and automotive TV appearances, Carolla has demonstrated his commitment, and now excellence, in the field. To a victory well earned, bravo!


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