Long Beach’s annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race participants named


The 39th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach participants were named Thursday, with 17 participants set to compete from film, television, music, sports and fashion.

The celebrity list includes, in alphabetical order:

  • Donna Feldman (model/TV host/actress)
  • Willie Gault (former NFL WR, Olympic athlete)
  • Nathan Kress (actor)
  • James Maslow (musician)
  • Steve Mason (ESPN Radio host)
  • Mark McGrath (lead singer, Sugar Ray)
  • Raul Mendez (actor)
  • Joshua Morrow (actor)
  • Robert Patrick (actor)
  • Mekhi Phifer (actor)
  • John Rzeznik (guitarist/Goo Goo Dolls frontman)

The pro list includes these five:

  • Antron Brown (NHRA veteran, Top Fuel driver)
  • Brett Davern (2014 champion)
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (two-time race winner)
  • Dara Torres (Olympic swimming legend, 2002 race winner)
  • Rutledge Wood (NBC Sports Group NASCAR/motors contributor and 2013 race winner)

The race takes place Saturday, April 18 to kick off the weekend’s racing during the Grand Prix weekend.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.