By: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS on July 7, 1998
Original Article: AP ONLINE

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) Tim Allen will be behind the wheel this weekend at the first-ever West Michigan Grand Prix.

Allen, who plays Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor on the popular sitcom “Home Improvement,” will drive a Saleen Ford Mustang Sunday in the World Challenge Championship series’ Touring 1 division race. He’s also expected to take a few practice laps on Friday.

“There couldn’t have been a better time to get the news that Tim Allen is coming,” said race spokesman Tim Wondergem.

While more than 33,000 people have purchased tickets for the weekend event, Allen’s appearance is expected to boost attendance by as much as 25 percent.

Allen’s driving has been in the news for two reasons. He has raced professionally for four years in the World Championship T1 series, and is part-owner of the Saleen-Allen RRR Speedlab racing team. He also pleaded guilty in 1997 to drunken driving and checked into a rehabilitation clinic as part of a court-ordered sentence.