Beccy Gordon hits the pavement in Long Beach
Off-road racer Beccy Gordon is certainly no stranger to being quick on the gas and hard on the brake as she tries to outrace her opponents. But having pavement under her race car is a much different story as she prepares for the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race April 19, one of six events to be run in conjunction with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
|Beccy Gordon, sister of NASCAR driver Robby Gordon and girlfriend of IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay|
Of course, the part owner and driver for All-American Girl Racing is following in familiar footsteps by getting her early pavement experience at Long Beach. Beccy’s older brother, Robby Gordon, finished second in the 1990 Long Beach IMSA GTO race in just his fourth-ever pavement start before heading to a career in Indy Cars and now NASCAR.
“Words can’t express how thankful I am to Toyota for inviting me to be part of this incredible event,” said Gordon. “Toyota has been a part of my family for many years and I have attended this race since I was eight years-old. I’m still in shock that I’m going to be racing on the streets of Long Beach and representing the off-road world! It’s totally surreal.”
Despite it being her first pavement start, Gordon will participate as one of six racers in the professional category that start the race 30 seconds behind the celebrity division. She will compete against the likes of NFL Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman, “That 70’s Show” star Wilmer Valderrama, “Dancing With the Stars” winner Drew Lachey, former NBA star John Salley, ESPN NASCAR reporter Jamie Little and fellow pro’s NASCAR SPRINT Cup driver Mike Skinner, Tony Pedregon and Whit Bazemore, both NHRA Funny Car champions, as well as former Olympic gold medal cyclist Marty Nothstein.
“I can’t wait for the race! The competition, not only in the pro category, but amongst the celebrities is stout,” relayed the third-generation driver. “I definitely have my work cut out for me, but I’m ready for the challenge. If I can minimize my mistakes on the track, I should be in good shape. This is such a different beast than I am used to in the dirt. The Scion tC’s that we are driving are awesome cars and handle like proper race cars on the streets. They are fast little machines. Toyota’s created a monster in me… I think I found a new love.”
In addition to the on-track competition, Gordon also will be helping to raise money for “Racing For Kids,” and in particular to raise money for local children’s hospitals in Southern California. To date, Toyota has donated more than $1.6 million to local children’s charities in conjunction with the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.
“The best part about this race is giving back to the kids in our community,” said the Orange County native. “I’m a local So-Cal girl and I’ve been able to see firsthand the difference Toyota is making in the lives of some of these kids. My race team and I have always supported local charities and I look forward to adding ‘Racing for Kids’ as one of our beneficiaries. Anytime you can put a smile on a child’s face, you know you’ve made a difference even if it’s just for a moment.”