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By Pat Dean

Mark Wahlberg: Preps for Toyota Grand Prix

April 16, 2010 – Long Beach, CA ( - IndyCar series racecar drivers Danica Patrick and Helio Castroneves along with actor Mark Wahlberg got the engines for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach started a few days early in Costa Mesa as the troika made a pit stop to the South Coast Plaza’s Macy’s Men store in front of a roaring crowd of racecar fanatics that could have possibly covered the size of a football field.

CableMuse ( Pat Dean

The promotional event for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach kicked off with Wahlberg making his own racing related announcement. After the standing ovation had cleared and the teenage girls ended their chants off “take your shirt off,” The Entourage producer stated that he had become a spokesmen of AquaHydrate, the first high-performance sports water and that they would be teaming up with the IZOD IndyCar series.

Mark Wahlberg ( Pat Dean
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“I haven’t endorsed a product since Calvin Klein. I was first introduced to AquaHydrate during the set of a movie (The Fighter) and the product helped me during training and for the film and helped me maximize myself when I didn’t want to get out the bed,” explained Wahlberg, who will serve as Grand Marshal for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend.

Once Mark Wahlberg left the stage and before telling reporters that he would like to compete in the Indianapolis 500, Patrick and Castroneves appeared to sign autographs for fans that spent at least $40 on IZOD apparel. Castroneves, a three time Indy 500 champion and Dancing With the Stars Season 5 champion and Patrick, who finished third last year at the Indy 500, the highest finish ever for a woman are two of the favorites to seize victory in this weekends race. Among the two drivers, many analysts say that it is Helio that has the most pressure to win the event.

Danica Patrick ( Pat Dean
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“It doesn’t surprise me that most people will say that I have the most pressure to win the event. I feel that our team is very confident after last weekend’s big win in Alabama and we’ll do the best that we can do to repeat that performance,” said the Brazilian driver.

Castroneves, who is 32 points behind Will Power for first place in the point’s standings, will attempt to improve his seventh place finish in last year’s race while Patrick, who placed fourth in last year’s race, will try to do three spots better this time around. Will Helio and his # 3 car ride the lanes of victory circle as was the case at last week’s event in Alabama;or will it be Patrick’s # 7 car that carpe diem at this weekend’s race in Long Beach? We are 11 turns and 1.968 miles on asphalt away from the answer.

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