INDIANAPOLIS -- Jason Priestley can't stay away from auto
The former "Beverly Hills 90210" heartthrob, seriously injured
in a racing accident in 2002, is co-owner of a new race team that
plans to enter a car in the Indianapolis 500 in May.
"Dude, this is going to be so fun," Priestley said Monday.
The new Rubicon Race Team will be managed by co-owner Jim
Freudenberg, the former general manager of Kelley Racing and a
close friend of Priestley, and the No. 28 entry will be built by
the Indianapolis-based Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
The team plans to hire a veteran driver within the next few
weeks. The Indy 500 on May 25 is the only race in Rubicon's plans
"I'm excited to be able to spend the month of May in Indy with
my good friends and be a part of the greatest open wheel race,"
Priestley said by telephone from Canada, through team spokeswoman
Jana Watt. "It's been more than five years since my accident, and
it's going to be so good to get to see everyone."
Rubicon Racing's advisory board includes former IRL team owner
Tom Kelley, Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark and Carolina
Panthers punter Jason Baker, who is from Fort Wayne, Ind., and
played briefly for the Colts in 2004.
Priestley, a native of British Columbia, became a TV star with
Luke Perry, Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth in the Fox network's
"Beverly Hills 90210" in the 1990s. He began racing sports cars
in 1991 in the California Rally Series and won his first race at
the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 1998. In 2001, he was a broadcast
analyst for the IRL series and joined Kelley Racing the next season
in the IRL's developmental Indy Pro Series.
He was considered a talented driver and was serious about
pursuing a racing career until his crash during practice at
Kentucky Speedway in August 2002, when he slammed into the wall at
180 mph and broke his back and feet. He also suffered a concussion,
a bruise around his left eye and cuts on his nose, left cheek and
He was transferred to an Indianapolis hospital, where he
underwent surgery and rehabilitation.
The 38-year-old actor's new TV series "Side Order of Life"
premiered on Lifetime in July.