William Shatner, Jewel and Serena Williams put the pedal to the metal.
Various-grade celebrities have already attempted dancing and skating on reality TV shows, and now a fresh slate of would-be winners will turn to driving, mashing the gas for an ABC series set to air this summer.
A dozen stars have signed on for the Fast Cars & Superstars—Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race
, with would-be leadfoots including athletes (2007 Australian Open tennis champion Serena Williams
, bullrider Ty Murray
, WWE champ John Cena
) and performers (singer Jewel
, actors William Shatner
and Krista Allen
). This week, each celeb is getting behind the wheel for several speed trials at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., vying for a chance to hoist a winner's trophy at the track's victory lane. Showing them the ropes are several top NASCAR drivers, including 2006 Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson
, Kurt Busch
, Carl Edwards
and Kasey Kahne
, as well as a slew of race driving instructors.
In the first practice sessions on March 12, half the stars got some trial runs in, and a clearly rattled Serena Williams was at the bottom of the speed chart — with her best time slower than her vaunted tennis serve — although her confidence had already been climbing throughout the day. NFL legend John Elway
made a very respectable showing for a newcomer, with a bubbly Allen hot on his heels.
Watching skateboard legend Tony Hawk
go through some swift circuits, series co-anchor Brad Daugherty reminded us that Hawk was the first man to successfully land a 900-degree spin on his board. "Yeah," said Fast Cars
host Kenny Mayne
, of ESPN, "But hopefully he won't do that here."The Celebrity Participants
• Krista Allen, actress (Baywatch
, What About Brian
• John Elway, former Denver Broncos quarterback
• Tony Hawk, skateboarding legend
• Ty Murray, seven-time world all-around rodeo champion
• Jewel, Grammy-nominated musician
• Serena Williams, tennis champion
• John Cena, reigning World Wrestling Entertainment champion
• Laird Hamilton
, champion surfer
• Gabrielle Reece
, champion volleyball player, model
• Bill Cowher
, Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers head coach
• William Shatner, actor (Star Trek
, Boston Legal
• John Salley
, former NBA star, co-host of The Best Damn Sports Show Period
The NASCAR "Young Guns"
• Kurt Busch
• Carl Edwards
• Jimmie Johnson
• Kasey Kahne
• Jamie McMurray
• Ryan Newman
Reality-TV fans can find stories on American Idol, Victoria Beckham's new NBC reality series and more in the March 12 issue of TV Guide. Click here to subscribe.
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