Drew Lachey raring to win car race for charity

April 19, 2008 7:10:15 AM PDT
Drew Lachey has traded in his dancing shoes for a racing helmet.

The second-season "Dancing with the Stars" champion and former member of the pop group 98 Degrees qualified Friday for the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, a 10-lap charity race that is part of 34th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

"This is very different than 'Dancing with the Stars,"' Lachey told The Associated Press before his run. "The only way it's similar is that you have a very short window to try to perfect an art form."

Lachey will compete against celebrities including William Fichtner from "Prison Break" and Wilmer Valderrama from "That '70s Show" in race-modified Scion tCs on a 1.97-mile, 11-turn circuit through the downtown streets of Long Beach, Calif.

"You get to race very fast and legally," Lachey said. "That was one of the big draws for me to do this."

The other was charity. The race benefits the Miller Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital of Orange County. The celebrity winner will also receive a $20,000 donation to the charity of their choice.

Lachey and NASCAR pit reporter Jamie Little are the evenly matched 4-to-1 famous favorites to win the Saturday race, according to LasVegasAdvisor.com president Anthony Curtis.