Adam Carolla, the radio and television personality whose current gig has him hosting a show about cars—many of them really fast cars—held off Hill Harper to win the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race as part of the festivites for the 38th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Carolla, the host of "The Car Show" on the Speed Channel, started second on the grid based on practice time from Friday; the qualifying session was rained out.
When it was suggested after the race that comedian Carolla was now on top of the world, he cautioned that's not the case.
"I wouldn't call winning the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race being on top of the world," he said, "but it is above the prime meridien."
It was the third time Carolla has competed in the race. "I didn't know how good this would feel," he said. "It feels awesome."
Corolla took the lead from pole-sitting "Sons of Anarchy" actor Kim Coates on Lap 3, then pulled away from Harper out of the hairpin on the final lap of the 10-lap race on the 11-turn, 1.698-mile layout.
Harper, who portrays Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on "CSI: NY", started the race on the outside of the fourth row, and benefited from an early crash that involved reality celebrity Brody Jenner and actor Eddie Cibrian, who started seventh and third, respectively.
Harper pulled to Corolla's bumper entering the hairpin that leads to Shoreline Drive. However, Coates had earlier hit the wall on the inside of the hairpin and the position of his disabled car prevented Harper from making a serious effort to complete a last-turn pass.
Carolla said he Harper was not one of is primary concerns before taking the green flag, and first thought when he saw Harper in his rear-view mirror whether he had lapped him.
Harper, who is friends with Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton and texted him before the race, turned the fastest lap, surpassing even the professionals who participated. The pro winner was Formula Drift driver Fredric Aasbo, who finished fourth overall.
Biff Gordon, general manager of Quality Toyota in Corona, finished third.