Patrick Dempsey Impresses in Florida

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More than a dozen fans waited outside the Hyper Sport transporter Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, according to the Miami Herald, hoping to catch a glimpse of a Grey's Anatomy star.

Patrick Dempsey Impresses in Florida
Joe Foster, a principal of the team, popped out carrying a white trash bag and said sarcastically, "This is Patrick Dempsey's trash, do you want to take a picture of it?"

Moments later, Dempsey, who plays Dr. Derek Shepherd on the ABC hit medical drama, emerged before ducking away from the crowd to prepare for the timed 2.5-hour Grand-Am Koni Challenge GS sports car race.

Patrick Dempsey wasn't here for a cameo role, to pose for the paparazzi or engage in an autograph session.

When the 41-year-old actor catches a break in his chaotic filming schedule, he competes in the pro-Am sports car series where he is a driver and part-owner.

It's a breather from changing the diapers of his six-week old twin sons, Sullivan Patrick and Darby Galen.

It's also his ultimate escape from Hollywood.

"I'm much calmer in the car," Dempsey said.

Dempsey and co-driver Charles Espenlaub of Tampa finished sixth of 39 cars in the Koni Challenge. It marked Patrick Dempsey's best finish in five Koni Challenge races and also the first time he was present for more than just race day.

Dempsey said maneuvering a sports car and going as fast as 170 mph give him more of a rush than filming dramatic Grey's Anatomy scenes.

"I really enjoy auto racing much more than I enjoy doing the show," Dempsey said. "I mean I enjoy the show, but it's a different thing because it's like a long distance race."

Filming the show lasts from July until late April, and it's difficult to squeeze his racing passion anything else into his schedule.

To compete in his first Grand-Am race of the season, he flew to Miami on Friday morning and was scheduled to jet to Los Angeles on Sunday night so he would be back to film the Grey's season finale at 6:45 a.m. today.

"It's such a long a haul and towards the end of it, you're just wanting to survive because you've been working so much," Dempsey said.

"You never know where you're going. There is no collaboration in the TV show. Shonda Rhimes, the show's creator, has her vision. TV is a writer's medium, so you're really a gun for hire."

Dempsey, who began taking driving lessons from Foster in 2004, has been a quick study in racing.

"He's got natural talent," Espenlaub said.

Added Foster: "He's very serious about being competitive and respected by the insiders of the sport. His motivations for being here are a little different than most of the celebrities that come through."

Dempsey is the first high-profile celebrity to race in the Grand-Am Koni Challenge, but hardly the first to try sports car racing.

Actors Paul Newman, Gene Hackman and Steve McQueen dabbled in sports car road racing.

"We're shooting for the [Rolex] 24 hours next year [at Daytona]," Dempsey said. "It's not a one- or two-year program - this is something we want to do for many years."

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


sorry i forgot to write this. my teacher's sister works for supercuts and that is one of pats major sp[onsors so i hope she can hook me up with an autograph!!! she said she would. cross ur fingers!!! yes jillian is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO lucky i would love to be her someday(like trade places w/ her) love yall' GREYS ANATOMY IS THE BEST SHOW EVER!!!! I WATCH IT EVERY DAY (SEASON 1&2)


OMG when doesnt patrick look GREAT!!!!!! i am only 12 and i would do anything to go out with pat. what are your ppls opinion if meredith and derek will stay together in season 4???


Actually, Paul Newman did more than dabble in racing....He is 1/2 owner in Newman / Haas Racing, which races open wheel Champ cars (like Indy cars, just a different league). One of his drivers has won the championship 3 years straight, and is favored to win again. Even Paul, in his 80s, still drives occasionally. And - at least the last time I looked it up....PD is part owner of Vision Racing, along with Tony George, the guy who founded the Indy Car 'league' & who is responsible for the Indy 500. A good friend of mine works for Paul Newman's team...and I keep hoping that he and PD's paths will cross!


who doesn't he impress?
God, I would so love trade places with Jillian(she is one of the luckiest women alive)


I know Patrick was thrilled to be able to race this past week-end and also was thrilled that his race team came in 6th place! Way to go Patrick!
I'm sure with his hectic schedule, it was nice to get away from everything for a day or two! Racing has obviously become a real passion for him now! I guess we all have our day to day jobs and outide interest and like Patrick, his job is acting and he has to have an outside interest too and his is RACING! But then, what guy wouldn't have a rush by racing @ 170 mph in his own race car racing for his part owned team..RIGHT?? And he did say, he enjoyed acting on GA! WHEW! Glad of that! He said racing was just different! I guess we can understand long as he continues to make us smile each Thursday night for many years to come!




Im glad he's doing something else that makes him happy. But this could make a McDreamy fan so McNervous it's not exactly a safe sport.


I'm sorry, I can't write in English but for this: I'm sorry. I really admire Patrick Dempsey but I'm against car racing because of the climatic change... So he should do something else than driving with a car to win a competition. Isn't there anything else?
And... I hope he'll enjoys being on set for Grey's Anatomy much more than now.
And more than anything else (okay... Being with his family....nothing against it). Thanks! Bye


6th place! Thats awesome!


CONGRATULATIONS PATRICK for your impressive 6th place finish! Thank you Insider for this great piece of PD news and very hunky photo!


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.