Willy T. Ribbs On Celebrity Racing Expertise Collection Coming To CBS In 2021: ‘It’s Like A Professional Bowl’

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(CBS Native/CBS SF)- Celebrity Racing Expertise made a brand new addition to its driver roster on Wednesday asserting that Willy T. Ribbs Jr. can be becoming a member of the sequence for its inaugural season in the summertime of 2021. Ribbs competed throughout all kinds of racing disciplines in the course of the course of his profession, discovering probably the most success within the Trans-Am sequence the place he picked up 17 wins.

Nonetheless, he’s extra extensively identified for breaking down obstacles within the sport, turning into the primary Black man to qualify and race on the Indianapolis 500 in 1991 after which the primary to check a System 1 automotive. His story of the challenges he confronted arising in racing now lives on Netflix within the documentary Uppity: The Willy T. Ribbs Story.

Credit score: Ken Levine/Getty Photos

Now, he’s including one other chapter to that story becoming a member of SRX’s all-star forged of drivers which already contains Bobby Labonte,

Helio Castroneves, Paul Tracy and Tony Kanaan. If you happen to assume his aggressive hearth is gone, Ribbs simply gained the VROC Indy Legends Charity Professional-Am final 12 months. He says when he bought the decision from SRX co-founder Ray Evernham, he was instantly .

“I bought a name from Ray Evernham a few months in the past and he mentioned we’re going to carry again IROC solely it’s going to be known as SRX,” mentioned Ribbs Jr. in an interview with CBS Native’s Ryan Mayer. “I informed him I’d be on with it, he informed me the lineup and I used to be actually when he talked about the names that had been proposed. It’s like a Professional Bowl.”

That Professional Bowl facet with the races that includes among the finest drivers throughout disciplines that followers have seen makes for an environment that the competitor in Ribbs simply loves.

“Everyone you named are unhealthy cats. If you get an alley filled with unhealthy cats, you bought fur going all over the place. When he talked about it, I used to be undoubtedly on for it,” mentioned Ribbs. “I feel it’s going to be a terrific present as a result of everyone, the names you simply known as off, that’s going to make for one hell of a present. And the followers, the followers are going to find it irresistible as a result of, like I mentioned, we’re on dust. Two of the races are on dust and you realize what occurs if you’re on dust? You get soiled.”

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He says that the trash speak has already begun in preparation for subsequent summer time. He additionally has a buddy that’s going to assist him prepare for these grueling races. You might know him.

“The cake is simply now going within the oven. I’m getting a maintain of my buddy Sugar Ray Leonard. Leonard and I’ve been buddies for 40 years nearly and he’s going to get me within the health club, get me in fine condition after which I’m going to name out Uncle Bobby as in Unser,” mentioned Ribbs smiling. “It’s going to be a traditional sequence.”

One of many major promoting factors that Evernham talked about when the sequence was introduced is that will probably be going to tracks that racers grew up racing on and that don’t get the identical nationwide shine that others could. For Ribbs, these new tracks solely make for extra entertaining competitors.

“I do know that there are going to be some new tracks,” mentioned Ribbs. “I feel that’s nice as a result of we’ll all be beginning recent on new terrain which is able to make it much more aggressive.”

Returning to the observe is way from the one factor Ribbs has happening for the time being. The documentary, produced by Adam Carrolla and Nate Adams, is on Netflix and he’s been thrilled by the response to it.

Credit score: Jamie Squire/ALLSPORT

“It was really my piece within the documentary The Racing Lifetime of Paul Newman, I did loads in that movie. After that was finished, Adam Carrolla and Nate Adams known as me and mentioned, we’ve bought numerous suggestions on simply what you probably did and there’s numerous curiosity from folks to listen to what occurred in your profession,” mentioned Ribbs. “I informed them on one situation. We inform the reality the entire fact and nothing however the fact. I informed them, there’s going to be some folks which are butthurt. However as my grandpa used to say on the ranch, that’s what butts are for, getting damage.”

Whereas there have been individuals who could also be damage by the documentary, many extra have been moved by the story and have reached out to Ribbs. He mentions that there are a couple of extra tasks nonetheless to come back primarily based on his story, so followers can maintain an eye fixed out.

However, whereas the response has been nice, the wrestle for variety in auto racing continues. For Ribbs, the way in which to repair that’s to have folks in positions of energy, with the capital to construct a workforce, become involved.

“My profession was up and down, however I used to be adequate to stick with it even with struggles,” mentioned Ribbs. “However, if it wasn’t for Invoice Cosby, I’d have by no means been in Indy Automobile, would have by no means been within the Indy 500. Regardless of the entire issues which have now occurred in Invoice’s profession, if it wasn’t for him, I’d have by no means been within the Indy 500. He pushed it in. It’s going to take people which have that form of useful resource like LeBron James for instance or M.J. (Michael Jordan). They don’t need to do a rattling factor but when the game goes to maneuver ahead then it’s going to take capital of colour. Then it would occur.”

For now, Ribbs is making ready for the inaugural season in 2021 along with his sights set on the championship. If he wins, we might also see his signature celebration too: the Muhammad Ali shuffle.

“If I win, now I’m going to wish a step ladder to rise up there, I used to have the ability to soar off the bottom, I can’t do this anymore,” mentioned Ribbs smiling. “I’ll do it as finest I can.”

The Celebrity Racing Expertise involves CBS Tv Community in the summertime of 2021.

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