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Long Beach Diary:
Day Two
Another One Bites The Dust

Long Beach, Calif., April 16 — Before I forget, I want to report that Stephen Moyer, who plays the vampire Bill Compton on HBO’s True Blood, made the unprecedented move of withdrawing from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pro-Celebrity race, in spite of winning the pole during Friday's qualifications. Moyer's accident, which is featured all over the web, looked like fairly standard pro-celeb race fare, with the exception of his car rolling over a couple of times and his windshield cracking. Moyer was unhurt after the accident and expressed great satisfaction with taking the pole and said he was looking forward to today’s race - where he did not bother to show up. My question is: why?

I was able to get a statement from Toyota that sounded like pretty standard PR fare: Moyer, "after careful thought and consideration, and at the request of his producers" decided not to race. To which I respectfully say: bullshit. No actor under contract to producers to perform in a series or feature would be able to participate in a pro/celebrity auto race without consulting his producers, let alone their bonding company, in advance. That's how it works. So, I think we can dismiss the idea that the producers had anything to do with his withdrawal. However, from what I saw yesterday, I think I can make a reasonably good conjecture about what caused Stephen Moyer to withdraw from this charity race.

Moyer married his co-star, actress Anna Paquin, less than a year ago. I observed a young woman who I believe was Paquin towards the back of the room where the post qualifying press conference was held. She was not dressed up for a public appearance and appeared to be upset, although her demeanor was calm. For a young woman who likely knows little of auto racing, one can only imagine how upsetting watching her husband crash a race car and turn over a few times would be. I knew he would be fine, but how could she? So, the most likely reason, in my not so humble opinion, that the celebrity pole sitter was a no show for the race? To please his wife and/or to not cause her further stress, he backed out. To which I say, good for them! Another one bites the dust.

We started the day with high hopes for Conor Daly, the number one driver listed on Deep Throttle’s American Driver Ranking prospects list in September, 2010. However, Daly had commitments in Europe due to his GP3 drive and skipped Friday's practice. Bad move. Long Beach is a tough street course, and while CD is a talented young driver, he was outqualified today by three drivers concentrating on the Indy Lights championship, and not doing double duty with another series.

Winning the Indy Lights pole for Sam Schmidt Motorsports was Daly's teammate, Esteban Guerrieri, with a pole lap slightly faster than the fastest ALMS class. Joining Esteban on the front row will be Irishman Peter Dempsey. Conor Daly will start on row two, next to fellow American Josef Newgarden. While attending the media lunch on Thursday, Jeff took a photo of a rather tall young driver wearing an Andretti Autosport polo shirt. We saw him yesterday at breakfast at the Hyatt, and Jeff found out his name is Stefan Wilson, and he's Justin's brother. It's not a surprise that he's so tall, nor that he is a nice well spoken man, and he's starting sixth tomorrow.

Also worth noting from last September's American Driver rankings is Charlie Kimbell, who is having a respectable rookie season with Chip Ganassi Racing, who will start 24th in tomorrow's IndyCar race. PR1 Racing's Miles Maroney, who to my surprise was born the same day as our Alexis Davidson, is competing in the American Le Mans Series' LMPC class along with our old friend, Alex Figge. Maroney was rated 13th in the September American Driver Ranking.

Our day concluded with the ALMS race in the early evening. More on that tomorrow.

Until then, I'm off to the races again!

Copyright © 2011 by Lisa Davidson and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

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