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Home Features Star Day AMC's Mark Consuelos Scores Respectable Finish

AMC's Mark Consuelos Scores Respectable Finish

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Actor drags with the best of 'em - places 8 in Pro/Celeb Car Race

Mark Consuelos (Mateo, AMC) Photo: LMSAMC fans will be delighted to learn that Mark Consuelos (Mateo, AMC) dragged with the best of them last weekend in the 25th anniversary of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Grand Prix in Long Beach, CA and did quite well, despite lack of prior experience. Aside from the mandatory 4-day training session provided by the Toyota Grand Prix, "PlayStation and video games" were his only other form of preparation for the event. LOL Here is our exclusive coverage of Mark's racing debut. Hope you enjoy and a very Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all.

On Your "Mark," Get Set, Go!

Who says daytime lags behind primetime? Not in this case as we were off to the races with All My Children's Mark Consuelos!

Mark Consuelos (Mateo, AMC) Photo: LMSThe weekend of April 6-8, 2001, Consuelos finished the Toyota Celebrity Grand Prix in Long Beach, California in eighth place, a pretty impressive feat considering that three of the professional drivers competing finished in spots one through three. Mark completed all ten laps with a time of 19:23. Even without warp speed, he beat Star Treks William Shatner by almost 20 seconds and also had faster times than Erik Palladino (Dr. Dave Malucci of ER), Jim Kelly (Former Buffalo Bills Quarterback), and Entertainment Tonight correspondent, Mark Steines. Proof positive that daytime is alive and well in the form of an All My Children superstar!

Consuelos had been preparing for the race for several weeks prior to the big weekend. And those preparations didn't end on Friday, April 6th, the day of the qualifying race. Minutes before he was scheduled to take some practice laps, he received last-minute support from former AMC co-star Michael Lowry (ex-Jake), and last-minute car modifications from Toyota Motor Vehicles Assistant, Tom Steger. Steger adjusted the gas pedal so it would be closer to Mark's break pedal. "(It's important for him) so he can heel-toe; it's a driving style using your feet to apply the gas and break at the same time," Steger said.

Mark Consuelos (Mateo, AMC) Photo: LMSAs photographers snapped away, Consuelos gave numerous thumbs up to the fans in attendance, signed autographs, and stressed the excitement of the moment. Although his other half, wife Kelly Ripa, was unable to fly in from New York for the event, close to four-year-old son Michael, as well as Mark's father, joined him for his dream adventure. In fact, Michael must have known that only good things lay ahead for his dad since he predicted Mark to win the race! Ok, so maybe Michael was a little off, but he still has great intuition!

Not only a racecar driving aficionado, we learned that Consuelos is also the consummate protective dad. When we asked to speak with Michael, Consuelos laughed and said no way. Both he and Ripa have decided to keep their family out of the spotlight as much as possible. Consuelos did share, however, that Michael and Grandad had fun visiting the Long Beach Aquarium during race downtime.

Mark Consuelos (Mateo, AMC) Photo: LMSNow that Consuelos is a veteran of the sport, is it possible that the writers of All My Children are in tune? Did he think they might consider a storyline that would include racecar driving for Mateo? Not according to the actor. "There s no way they could do (a story like that) in a small studio! I think it would be pretty cheesy. Mateo owns a nightclub," Consuelos said. "Where would he find the time?!" Would Consuelos ever suggest a story for his character? "No, absolutely not. The writers do their job, a tough job at that, and I let them do it. I might change a line here or there, because you know your character better than anybody else at this point. But (as far as pitching them story ideas?) No, absolutely not."

Mark Consuelos (Mateo, AMC) center flanked by the Pro/Celebrity Team 2001Along with his newfound racing achievement, and his continued work as Mateo on AMC, what else does the future hold for the actor? Consuelos told us that he had auditioned for and landed a leading role in a pilot for a new primetime series, but as of this writing, the location of the series was still undecided. "If it's shot in Canada, then I can do it," he said. "But they may take it to Australia. That would be out of the question." He is therefore in a holding pattern, waiting to see where the new series will ultimately go into production. If it doesn't work out for him this time, he remains optimistic that something else will come along. "I'm always looking though," Consuelos revealed. He notes, however, that it's a tough subject to discuss since the industry can be so unstable and change so frequently.

Mark Consuelos (Mateo) and real-life wife, Hayley Ripa (Hayley) of All My ChildrenFar as things on the home front are concerned now that wife Kelly is not only his co-star on All My Children, but the new sidekick for Regis Philbin on Live with Regis & Kelly, it's as though life couldn't be better. "Well, Kelly and I haven't really been working that much lately on All My Children. And she's often done with her responsibilities at the studio by noon. So we see each other a lot more in a different way. Being at work together is great, I wouldn't change it, but yet I also wouldn't recommend it. We now see each other in a different capacity and it's nice. It's like we're actually having a normal relationship," a laughing Consuelos admits. "I am so proud of her though. She's doing a great job."

After Consuelos' respectable finish in the race, we're sure Ripa feels the same way about him.

Reported by: Jessica Radloff with Linda Marshall-Smith

Related Features:

AMC's Mateo is Off to the Races!

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