Actor and race fan Jason Priestley will serve as master of ceremonies for the Indy Racing League Championship Celebration on Saturday at the World Showplace in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort.

The 34 year-old actor turned racer played Brandon Walsh on the 1990s hit TV show "Beverly Hills 90210" and has appeared in several movies, including "Tombstone."

"We are thrilled to have Jason join us at our 2003 Indy Racing League Celebration," said Tony George, president and CEO of the IRL. "His love for motorsports and involvement in the IRL has made Jason a member of our IRL racing family."

Priestley served as a commentator for ABC/ESPN's coverage of the 2001 IndyCar Series season, and he competed in a partial season as a driver in the 2002 Menards Infiniti Pro Series season before a bad crash at Nashville left him with serious injuries that curtailed his competitive open-wheel racing career.

The invitation-only celebration will honour 2003 IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, who will receive the IndyCar Series Championship Cup and a $1-million bonus.

Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force-Toyota, earned the championship with a second-place finish at the season-ending Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Dixon won the championship, 507-489, over Gil de Ferran, who won the season finale at Texas as well as the 2003 Indianapolis 500.

The Bombardier Rookie of the Year will be presented to Dan Wheldon, driver of the No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara-Honda, while officials from Toyota will accept the Engine Manufacturer Championship.

Other awards to be presented include: John Bearce Chief Mechanic of the Year, Promoter of the Year, an IRL Achievement Award, and special manufacturers recognition awards.

 

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