Credit: Daniel Goddard (photo by Lori Wilson)

The final odds going into the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race on Daniel Goddard (Cane) were 26-1. Las Vegas gaming expert Anthony Curtis projected that if Daniel wanted to win, he’d need to tone done his enthusiasm. Even though he didn’t come in first, Goddard may have taken those words to heart, as he came in second place for the celebrity drivers and third place overall, beating out five pro racers and ten other celebrity opponents!

I had the opportunity to go to the race and talk with Daniel before and after about the high-speed event.

Held in Long Beach, CA on April 19th, Daniel qualified for an eighth place starting position the day before, and along with the other celebrity drivers, received a thirty second head start on the pro racers. When I caught up with Daniel immediately after the race, he summed up his third place finish by stating, “I felt good. I felt like I drove my own race. I didn’t overdrive the car, I had a good strategy at the beginning. It paid off.”

Celebrity driver Jamie Little (ESPN Pit reporter) finished in first place, with pro driver Mike Skinner coming in at a close second. Apparently Skinner was a key element in Daniel’s performance, as Goddard’s co-star and two time Toyota Pro/Celebrity driver, Joshua Morrow (Nicholas) advised him to, “Get with Skinner and just drive with [him].” Which is what the Y&R actor did, as he explained, “I was really happy to have Mike Skinner come up behind me at that speed to push me a long a little more. I felt like I had more speed in the car and then it just unfolded and unfolded well.”

While he took Morrow’s advice, Daniel let it be known that he won’t hesitate to brag about placing higher than his co-worker, as he joked, “I’m ecstatic because Josh finished 3rd last year (for celebrities), so at least I get to go back to work and say I came in second! But then he’ll go, ‘You got beaten by a girl!’ And I’ll say, ‘That’s not a girl. That’s a driver!'”

The 32-year-old celebrity race reserves one spot each year for a soap opera personality, with past years seeing stars such as Morrow, Peter Reckell (Bo, Days of Our Lives) and Ingo Rademacher (Jax, General Hospital ) taking the wheel. There’s apparently no real rhyme or reason to who gets picked, as Daniel explained, “The process is you just submit your name and say, ‘I’d like to do it.’ I know that Braeden (Victor) wanted to do it. I think Stafford (Phyllis) tried to do it and I heard Bryton (Devon) wanted to do it as well. I was just the very lucky person that was chosen,” he smiled.