If you follow my Facebook or Twitter posts you know that I participated in a charity event to raise funds for the Denver Dumb Friends league last weekend. I entered Peanut into the Furry Scurry and my sister brought Rottie. It was a two-mile walk through Washington Park with about 5000 other dogs. Crazy right?
We were up bright and early to get down there and get through registration. If you know me very well you know that I'm habitually running late and not a morning person so I was proud of myself for getting up there with plenty of time to spare. I'm not saying I wasn't still running late but I built in enough cushion time, LOL. We walked over to a local bakery, grabbed some breakfast and coffee and enjoyed some great morning sunshine.
Looking back on it, adding in an extra half-mile walk to the bakery wasn't very nice to the pups. 2 miles is tough enough for their little legs but they did great. I think at first they may have been overwhelmed by the sheer number of dogs but after a while they figured it out. It took just over an hour since the pace of the crowd was a little slow but I figure that was perfect for my little guys.
Afterward we walked through the displays and got a lot of samples for the dogs and even a few for us two legged participants. I think their favorite was the frozen yogurt with peanut butter and dog treats. As you can see by the time we made it back to the car they were worn out.
As many of you know, I love animals. I wanted to do something to give back to the ones that are not lucky enough to have a home...yet. If you would still like to donate you can do that through this link. Thank you to all of you who have already made a donation in my name, it means a lot to me.
Here's a little more about the DDFL.
The funds raised will help provide care for more than 20,000 cats, dogs and small pets, as well as horses, this year. In addition to adopting out homeless pets, the League offers many other services for pets and people, including the Homes with Hearts foster program, humane education, animal welfare investigations, equine services, lost and found, in-shelter and public behavior training, and spay and neuter services for cats and dogs in underserved areas of metro Denver at reduced rates, subsidized by Dumb Friends League donors.
Now that the weekend is over I thought I'd give you the final results from the Toyota pro/celebrity race in Long Beach. The four of us in the Pro category had to start 30 seconds behind the celebrity field. At the green we formed a train and started the task of catching the rest of the group. With only 10 laps in the race we were hoping for a yellow flag. No such luck, but in a few laps we were starting to catch the back of the field. The plan was to get past as many of the celebrities as possible before worrying about each other in the final laps. I was actually enjoying the race more than the practice and qualifying. Not that I didn't enjoy the rest of it, but I didn't qualify as well as I would have liked. On race day though, it's not about who can lay down one really good lap but rather running good consistent laps and looking for that weakness from another driver that you can capitalize on.
By around lap 5 or 6 we had worked our way almost half way through the field when I lost 4th gear. I was right behind Jeremy Sisto about to make the pass when it happened. There are three straightaways on the course where you use 4th gear. As you can imagine it is impossible to keep up the pace without it. I would catch up to him through the rest of the course but fell back every time 4th came into play. Even with that, I was able to hold my position and not lose any spots. Twelfth place was not the finish I was looking for but all things considered I'm not too disappointed.
In the end, the winner of the pro class was Adam Corolla, who finished 6th overall. Right behind him was Gold medalist Tyler Clary in 7th. I was in 12th and Andy Bell rounded out the Pros in 17th spot after stuffing it in the tire wall at some point. That didn't keep him from coming back out and messing with me on the last lap. That's where the body damage came from, I'm not sure we agree about who initiated that but his car definitely looks worse. Rutledge Wood from Top Gear was the overall and celebrity winner of the event.
What an incredible experience I have had being a part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. From the four day school they put on for us to get some experience in the Scion FRS' in Willow Springs, to a world class weekend that we just finished up in Long Beach, I can't say enough about how honored I feel to have been invited. I made some great friends and have memories that will last a life time. Thank you to everyone at Toyota; it was the experience of a lifetime!
Hey guys, things have been really busy out here at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. I'm just finally getting some time to sit down and send you an update. Thursday we visited the Miller's Children's Hospital. We spent the afternoon visiting with the kids and delivering stuffed animals, toys and other goodies. As you can see we dressed up in tutu's and costumes to entertain the kids. I think we got more out of the experience than they did, but I hope they had fun.
On Friday we had our practice session and qualifying for the race. I came to this event last year, so it's pretty cool to be back this year as a competitor. I'm working hard at getting this turning thing down. Road racing may not be my thing but I'm working hard at it.
Tonight we head to the Grand Prix foundations charitable ball. I'm sure we will all have a great time but I've promised myself that I will sneak out early so that I can get a good night’s sleep for the big day. Check back tomorrow for another update.
I'm on my way back from Long Beach, Calif., where I had a chance to drive my Toyota Scion FRS at the press/practice day for the upcoming Grand Prix. In case you haven't been following my Facebook or Twitter updates, I will be racing in the Pro Celebrity race April 20.
We were out at the Willow Springs road course a couple of weeks ago practicing in the Scions. This week we had the opportunity to drive the actual course that we will be on next week. That's no small task considering this is a street course and they have to close down the streets of Long Beach in order for us to do that.
I am having so much fun but have to admit that it is quite a challenge. I am working really hard to bring my cornering and heel toe shifting techniques up to speed. We don't get the opportunity to practice that in Drag Racing!
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pro Celebrity race raises money for "Racing for Kids", to benefit children's hospitals in Long Beach and Orange county. We will be visiting some of those hospitals on the Thursday before the race. I will try to update the blog daily starting on the 17th.