Patrick Dempsey Dazzles at Daytona; Meet-and-Greet in Miami on March 5
Career-best 3rd-place Rolex 24 finish provides Dempsey Racing momentum into Homestead-Miami Speedway for ‘Grand Prix of Miami’ (photo courtesy: Sam Greenwood, Getty Images Sport)
Patrick Dempsey is used to performing at a high level—on a Hollywood set. But the cameras on him at Daytona at the end of January had nothing do with Dempsey the world-renown actor. The "Grey's Anatomy" star took two entries to the Rolex 24 at Dayton and drove his No. 40 Mazda into the lead of the Grand Touring (GT) class early Sunday morning.
Dempsey's bid to win the prestigious road race came to a close a few hours later when teammate Tom Long spun with just under six hours remaining in the 24-hour affair, causing the Dempsey Racing Mazda to fall four laps down before rebounding to score its first GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series podium with a third-place finish.
"It was pretty emotional," Dempsey said of his podium finish at Daytona. "To be on the wall and hear everybody's journey with each stint was an incredibly joyous, magic, fun moment. It's validation for all of their hard work, and this is a team sport."
Next up for Dempsey Racing: Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, March 5, for the “Grand Prix of Miami.” Prior to the Grand Prix, fans are invited to meet the Dempsey Racing drivers—scheduled to include lead-driver Patrick—in the infield media center. The $40 package salutes the Dempsey Racing No. 40 and No. 41 Mazda RX-8 GTs, and for each ticket sold the Homestead-Miami Speedway Foundation will donate $20 to the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer, Hope & Healing, and the Team Seattle guild of the Seattle Children’s Hospital. The package is available by calling (866) 409-RACE or visiting HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com/Dempsey and includes:
● Ticket to the Saturday, March 5 Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway
● Exclusive group meet-and-greet on race day with competing Dempsey Racing drivers
● $20 donation to Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer, Hope & Healing and Seattle Children’s Hospital
● Paddock access to driver garages
● Dempsey Racing-autographed team hero card
“Miami’s been good to Dempsey Racing and good to me, personally,” lead-driver Dempsey said of the track at which his team netted its first-ever podium finish (third) during last year’s Grand Prix of Miami. “I netted my first-ever Top 10 finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and I’m grateful for the reception I get from South Florida race fans when I come down this way.
“It was at last year’s Grand Prix of Miami that we first did this—a meet-and-greet with fans so gracious in supporting the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer, Hope & Healing and Seattle Children’s Hospital—and it was a pretty neat experience to host them in our Drivers’ Meeting Room for a wide-open question-and-answer session.”
And “McDreamy” will be sailing into Miami with some momentum, especially considering that his excitement extended even beyond the on-track action in late-January. After practicing at Daytona on Thursday, he flew to Utah on Friday to attend the Sundance Film Festival for the premier of the movie "Flypaper,” a film he produced that has received strong reviews.
In his post-Rolex media availability, it was clear that the trip from Daytona to Park City and back had left him exhausted, but Dempsey maintained that the results were worth the energy.
"It went really well," Dempsey said. “The screening was phenomenal, and the response was huge right from the beginning. So on that side of things, I couldn't ask for a better response to the movie. It's the first time I've produced a movie, and for it to be received that strongly was a really good thing. We paid for it a little [Saturday] with some fatigue."
The environment will move from “fatigue” to “festive” on Saturday, March 5, when the Dempsey Racing Drivers will meet with fans prior to the “Grand Prix of Miami” in conjunction with more than six hours of racing on South Florida’s 2.3-mile road course. The “Grand Prix” will feature the Daytona Prototypes and Grand Touring classes in Race 2 of the 2011 GRAND-AM campaign. Tickets start at $25 and are available by calling (866) 409-RACE or by clicking here. Parking is FREE, and fans are welcome to bring in their own food and drink in a 14x14x14 cooler, with unlimited re-entry to the Speedway to allow for restocking from tailgates.