2009 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race Winner: Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves unveiled his driving skills and won the Celebrity Category of the 2009 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. Everyone thought that driving a bus in "Speed" wouldn't be of much help to him. And they were right. So did Keanu, when he decided to train at the Freddy Spence motorcycle school and to participate in other racing events. That is how he manged to handle his car almost as good as the Pros.

Reeves, however, claimed to be “in shock” at his triumph. “It is such a great feeling,” said the new celebrity champ after the race. “Bentley and I had been going at it for most of the race, but when I got to the last lap and came around the fountain turn I almost couldn’t believe it. I figured, ‘I’m just gonna go get it.’” (AE:  Reeves refers to hip hop artist, Fonzworth Bentley)

“This field had the crowd cheering through the entire race,” said Les Unger, Toyota Motor Sales USA national motorsports manager. “Each of the celebrities and the pros were hungry to take home the trophy this year, and they brought their best to the show. Throughout training and practice, they were intensely focused but they also enjoyed the experience, which is exactly what the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is all about.”

Toyota will donate $5,000 to “Racing for Kids” in the name of each celebrity racer, and another $5,000 to the winning racer’s charity of choice. Racing for Kids is a national non-profit program benefiting children’s hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County, California. Since 1991, Toyota has donated $1.7 million on behalf of the race and its participants to various children hospitals.

A $15,000 donation was also made in conjunction with the annual “PEOPLE Pole Award.” The award was given to Danny Way, this year’s pole-position winner of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race qualifying session. Way's choice was the Action Sports Environmental Coalition (ASEC). This will enable ASEC to build a "green" skate park for kids in Hawaii.

And for those who want to know who the Professional Category winner was, we give the non-surprising answer: it was "King of the Beach" Al Unser, Jr. We had it coming from the six-time Toyota Grand Prix winner. Though he was followed closely by NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Johnny Benson in second place and president of Longo Toyota in El Monte, California, Tom Rudnai, in the third, Unser Jr. smoothly cut his way to the podium.
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