- Associated Press - Monday, January 31, 2011

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (AP) - It was no fluke when Patrick Dempsey led laps overnight in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The actor best known as McDreamy from his role as Dr. Derek Shepherd on “Grey’s Anatomy” has worked hard at his racing career.

The validation came last weekend when Dempsey led his first laps in the Grand-Am Series and helped his race team earn its first podium with a third-place finish Sunday in the prestigious sports car race.

It capped a full weekend of Dempsey juggling both his jobs. He flew from Daytona on Friday to Park City, Utah, for the screening of his film “Flypaper” at the Sundance Film Festival.

In his champagne-soaked firesuit Sunday, Dempsey could hardly contain his emotions from participating in such a successful weekend.