I’m still trying to find The Road Less Traveled, but it’s not easy Saturday at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Fans are everywhere. There must be some spectators sitting in seats somewhere. The weather is overcast but warm, and barely a wimpy breeze.

The morning schedule had three practice sessions, starting at 7:15 am with the Toyota Tires World Challenge at Long Beach Presented by Bondurant, Firestone Indy Lights and Izod IndyCar Series, plus a Drifting Demonstration. All of this was a lead-up to the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Crashfest.

The theme in the Pro/Celeb Qualifying Conference Friday afternoon was how much the drivers appreciated not having to pay for any crash damage on their cars. IndyCar co-team owner and past CART Champion, JIMMY VASSER had the pole position for the race. The Celebrity pole was scored by ZACHARY LEVI, who qualified fifth overall in a field of 19. The drivers race identical Toyota Scions.

Pro/Celebrity Pole Sitter Jimmy Vasser. Photo by Lynne Huntting
Pro/Celebrity Pole Sitter Jimmy Vasser. Photo by Lynne Huntting

Levi went into a backup car half way through the session and said he was “very conscious of not touching the walls…but it’s nice to not have to pay the bills. I get to drive as fast as I want without a cop up my butt.”

Vasser said “In KV we’ve paid for a lot of cars. I’m having this guy talk to my guys.” He said he was having fun racing again, and was pleased at how much came back for charity.

Comedian ADAM CAROLLA qualified fourth in class, tenth overall, and said he felt like everyone was in front of him. His pre-race mode is “Sleep deprivation, Zanex, raiding the mini-bar and repeat as necessary.” In the race, he plans to “sit back and let them make mistakes.”

KEANU REEVES, a Pro this year after winning last year’s Celebrity race, qualified sixth. He said he’s “quicker this year, but still slower than Jimmy (Vasser) by three seconds.” While Reeves is having fun, he isn’t pursuing a racing career as have other actor Celebrity drivers, i.e. PATRICK DEMPSEY – who is racing his first World Challenge race this weekend in a GTS Mazda 3. Reeves said “When I’m working, I’m working. When I’m not working, I’m looking for work.” He did admit he’d like to run a 24-hour endurance race in a Porsche, something a little faster.”

More than $100,000 was raised for children’s charities and most of the field visited Children’s hospital on Thursday.