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John Cena, start your engine
John Cena will make his debut on Fast Cars and Superstars -- The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race tonight. With the guidance of the Gillette Young Guns -- six of the hottest NASCAR Nextel Cup Series drivers -- Cena is among 12 celebrities racing to be the best celebrity stock car driver on the ABC series.
"Our fans know that above all else, I'm a competitor and I'm known to take on any challenge," the WWE Champion said. "I just think our fans and viewers will see the true, competitive side of me. And don't get me wrong -- the show started out polite, and everybody ended up competitive."
Two half-hour episodes of the show have already aired, and after time trials on Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord. N.C., four celebrities have moved on to the next round: skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, former NFL Super Bowl champion John Elway, legendary surfer Laird Hamilton and seven-time world all-around rodeo champion Ty Murray. (Actress Krista Allen and tennis star Serena Williams have been eliminated.)
"I respected everybody who was there. I was very starstruck of guys like John Elway and Bill Cowher. I'm friends with John Salley," Cena said. "So it was good to be around those guys. But they were all very respectful of each other."
Tonight's episode will feature Cena, along with musician Jewel and NBA champion Salley. They will be guided by Gillette Young Gun Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford. Two celebrities will move on to the next round.
"Carl taught me about focus… focus and being able to trust your car. I had to relearn how to drive," Cena said. "Carl is a great young man with a bright NASCAR future. He's leading the Busch Series right now. He's seventh in the Nextel Cup points standings."
Tomorrow night, actor William Shatner, volleyball great and model Gabrielle Reece and NFL Super Bowl-winning head coach Bill Cowher will compete on the show, and only two will move on to the next round.
"Every celebrity Gillette selected had that drive inside. Everybody knows what it's like to win, and everybody knows what it's like to lose. So I think that was an important force in the show," Cena said.
In addition to Edwards, the Gillette Young Guns are Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge; Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford; Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge; Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge; and 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet.
"Gillette got a group of awesome, young drivers, guys who can not only drive the wheels off the car, but guys who have great personalities. It will bring the viewer into what NASCAR is all about," Cena said.
In a statement provided from Gillette, it's clear the Procter & Gamble company is pleased The Champ is part of Fast Cars and Superstars:
"We are thrilled to be aligned with John Cena. He allows us to tap into a new, passionate fan base and he respresents what the Gillette brand is all about -- performance and being your best."
ABC's Fast Cars and Superstars airs today, Thursday, Sunday and next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. The one-hour finale airs Sunday, June 24, at 7 p.m. Stay tuned to WWE.com for updates on Cena's performance in Fast Cars and Superstars. For more information about the show, visit GYGTV.com.