Gaming Expert Predicts Stars Will Edge Out Pro Drivers in 2013 Toyota
Las Vegas Handicapper Anthony Curtis Expects Top Spots in Charitable
Competition to go to TV Host Mark Steines, Racing Analyst Rutledge Wood and
Actor Michael Trucco
LONG BEACH, Calif., April 17, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif., April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --This year's famous Toyota
Pro/Celebrity Race participants aren't just familiar faces, they're good race
car drivers too. After watching additional practice sessions on April 9,
professional odds-maker Anthony Curtis adjusted his initial predictions to
show celebrity drivers will likely hold the top three spots in the prestigious
charitable race, coming in ahead of their professional driver competitors.
Hallmark Channel host and past "Entertainment Tonight" personality Mark
Steines is still expected to lead the pack after the most recent track
session, and the odds have been slightly increased in his favor.
As president of LasVegasAdvisor.com and a recognized gambling authority,
Curtis has lent his handicapping skills to the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race for
the past six years. This year's race participants will drive 210-horsepower
Scion FR-S race vehicles on the famed Long Beach, Calif. street circuit. Not
only did Curtis evaluate the racers during March training sessions and the
April 9 session in Long Beach, Calif., he knows the track from driving it
himself. The 19 race participants will navigate 10 laps on the famed
1.97-mile circuit on April 20 as part of the 39^th annual Toyota Grand Prix of
Despite predicting Steines will finish first, Curtis's predictions are tightly
together, reflecting his belief that the race is wide open among several
competitors. Racing analyst Rutledge Wood, actor Michael Trucco, motocross
champion Andy Bell and philanthropist Carter Lay all have a good shot at the
trophy. And close behind are swimmer Tyler Clary, actor Jesse Metcalfe and
Mexican superstar Kate del Castillo. Del Castillo has the best female odds
since ESPN pit reporter Jamie Little in 2008, the same year Little won.
As the longest-running, corporate sponsored event of its kind, the Toyota
Pro/Celebrity Race benefits Racing for Kids, a national fundraising program
for U.S. children's hospitals. Toyota has donated more than $2 million on
behalf of this race and its participants since 1991.
"This year's Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race features a strong group of celebrities
pushing ahead of the highly competitive pro drivers," Curtis said. "There are
so many factors on race day, making this an exciting competition and a great
way to benefit kids."
Curtis's exclusive expert predictions are solely for entertainment purposes on
www.lasvegasadvisor.com. The updated racer odds are as follows:
The additional practice session only increased
Curtis's feeling that this is the winning year for
oMark Steines (5-1) the Emmy award-winning journalist and TV host who
is making his fourth attempt. Can he handle the
pressure of winning expectations?
The odds for the Fox Sports/SPEED racing
commentator improved after the Long Beach
oRutledge Wood (7-1) practice. It's his second time in the
Pro/Celebrity Race, and he can draw on his career
of racing analysis. Is it enough to move up to the
The famous "Battlestar Galactica" actor slid down
oMichael Trucco (8-1) one spot in the second odds analysis. It may make
him hungry enough to overtake Steines and Wood and
roar into the lead.
NASCAR driving lessons for his "Dallas" television
role may have helped Metcalfe, who improved his
oJesse Metcalfe (9-1) race day odds. It's clear he has fun behind the
wheel, but can he turn his racing rookie status
into a win?
The Mexican actress keeps improving, making gains
against the earlier odds and learning from her
oKate del Castillo (9-1) experience in last year's race. As the top-ranked
woman in the race, she's looking to bring home the
trophy on behalf of all the ladies.
Odds on the Medal of Honor recipient remained the
same, but conditions on race day favor those who
oDakota Meyer (15-1) can stay steady under pressure. Meyer has a
reputation for excellence and will bring his best
to the track.
The Olympic swimming medalist made the biggest
improvement among the group, up from her 18-1
oJessica Hardy (15-1) opening odds. She'll need to draw on her
competitive spirit if she wants gold in her
Pro/Celebrity Race debut.
The odds stayed steady for the "Suburgatory" star
oJeremy Sisto (16-1) who remains in the middle of the pack. But nothing
is certain on race day, and Sisto might pull ahead
for a stronger finish.
The practices are learning opportunities, and the
star of MTV's hit series "Awkward" has shown some
oBrett Davern (17-1) improvement over his earlier odds. His fans are
hoping he can pull off a graceful move to claim a
Vampires may not sleep, but this "Twilight" movie
oJackson Rathbone (19-1) series star better get some rest if he hopes to be
competitive on the track. His odds remained the
same, but he has loyal fans cheering him on.
The "1600 Penn" actress may be smiling that she
oJenna Elfman (24-1) improved her odds, but she could really be
grinning if she could come from behind and beat
out some star-studded competitors.
Odds stays the same for the comedian, but a little
oWanda Sykes (38-1) extra speed may help her finish stronger, and
maybe get her laughing.
The Southern California Toyota dealer seat is being filled by Glenn Faber,
partner and general manager of Los Angeles area Keyes Toyota. Also in this
year's race are charity auction winners Dave Pasant and Carter Lay.
Odds slipped a little lower for the philanthropist and
oCarter Lay (17-2) LAY'S® chips heir. Will he respond to the analysis with
a burst of speed?
The five-time participant and retired insurance
oDave Pasant (11-1) executive lost some ground in his odds, but he's still
committed to another year finishing strong and having
The Toyota dealer performed well in the practice
oGlenn Faber (16-1) sessions, improving his odds. He has shown he is
passionate about cars, but will need to bring
everything he has to race day.
The celebrity field gets a 25-second head start on the professional drivers.
This year's diverse racing group includes drivers from several areas of
The motocross champion and MTV's "Nitro Circus" star
slipped a little in the predictions, but he has
oAndy Bell (17-2) bounced back from stunts and rough roads before.
Will it take a risky move to move him onto the
The Olympic intensity and practice paid off for this
oTyler Clary (9-1) gold medal swimmer who improved his odds. Fans can
expect him to leave nothing behind on the track.
He may not be laughing that his odds decreased, but
oAdam Carolla (14-1) comedian Carolla is still fresh off his win last
year in the celebrity category. He may pull out
another great performance on race day.
The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) driver knows
high speeds, but lost some ground and remains last
oMelanie Troxel (15-1) in the pro category. Don't count her out; she may
hit her stride on the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race
"The closer we get to race day, the more fun it is to consider the friendly
participant analysis from Anthony Curtis," said Les Unger, Toyota's national
motorsports manager. "We appreciate his help to build the enthusiasm and
competitive spirit around this race that benefits kids, no matter who wins."
On behalf of each participant, Toyota donates $5,000 to Racing for Kids.
Toyota will also donate another $5,000 to a charity of the winning racer's
choice. A $15,000 donation accompanies the annual People Pole Award, the
People magazine–sponsored award honoring the pole-position qualifying session
winner on April 19.
To learn more about the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, go to www.toyotaracing.com,
visit Toyota Racing on Facebook or on Twitter @ToyotaRacing, or join the
conversation with the participants using #TPCR.
NOTE: Celebrity odds are provided for entertainment purposes only. Wagering on
the outcome of the race is neither encouraged nor implied.
ABOUT ANTHONY CURTIS
Anthony Curtis is one of the world's most recognized and quoted gambling
authorities. The president of LasVegasAdvisor.com, he has appeared as a casino
expert on "Dateline NBC," "48 Hours," A&E, E! Entertainment, Discovery, the
Travel Channel, the Food Channel and the Learning Channel. He has been the
subject of articles in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, San Diego
Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Arthur Frommer's
Budget Travel and Discover magazine. Curtis is author of Bargain City—Booking,
Betting and Beating the New Las Vegas and The Art of Gambling Through the
Ages. Considered one of the world's foremost experts in tournament play,
Curtis's top tournament wins include $76,000 in the World Matchplay Blackjack
Championship, $125,000 in the Atlantic City Craps Championship, $50,000 in the
Las Vegas Keno Championship and $60,000 in the Las Vegas Blackjack
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and
currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over
31,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than
$23 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and
development, financial services and design.
Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where
it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term
sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the
country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota
has contributed nearly $700 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S.
For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities
nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/philanthropy.
Les Unger Rebecca Lee
Toyota Racing GolinHarris for Toyota
Erika Romero Sharon Noot
Toyota Racing Noot Incorporated
SOURCE Toyota Racing
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