- Associated Press - Friday, March 15, 2013

TORRANCE, CALIF. (AP) - Comedian Adam Carolla will return to defend his title in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race next month at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The 37th annual charity race will take place April 20 on the 1.97-mile street course in downtown Long Beach, Calif., as stars of film, television, music, sports and the military navigate 210-horsepower Scion FR-S race vehicles. They’ll be raising money for “Racing for Kids,” a national fundraising program supporting children’s hospitals throughout the United States.

“This talented and inspiring celebrity group will not only help Toyota share the story of this long-running charity event, but they also will feel the rush behind the wheel on the famous Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach track,” said Les Unger, Toyota national motorsports manager. “The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race thrills both the participants and the crowds while giving back to kids in our communities through donations to Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.”

Carolla, an avid car collector, is actually considered one of the pro drivers in the field. The other pros are motocross champion Andy Bell, star of MTV’s “Nitro Circus,” NHRA driver Melanie Troxel and Olympic gold medal swimmer Tyler Clary, who has said he wants to pursue a career as a professional race car driver when he’s done swimming.

Among the celebrities in the field are actors Jenna Elfman, Jesse Metcalf, Jeremy Sisto, Michelle Rodriguez and Wanda Sykes, NASCAR analyst and co-host of “Top Gear USA” Rutledge Wood and former U.S. Marine and Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer.

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