Patrick Dempsey's Dream: To Take Kids on Racing Road Trip

06/08/2009 at 07:00 AM EDT

Patrick Dempsey's Dream: To Take Kids on Racing Road Trip
Patrick Dempsey
If Patrick Dempsey has his way, he'll add bus driver to his résumé.

"I'd love to have a nice bus so I could bring my kids racing with me," the Grey's Anatomy star, 43, told PEOPLE after a qualifying run in his Mazda RX-8 for Friday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

For the actor – who qualified for Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at position No. 9, the best in his racing career – balancing his passions with his role as a family man (he has a daughter Talula, 7, and 2-year-old twin sons Darby and Sullivan with makeup-artist wife Jillian) is a delicate balancing act.

"I would be so happy if they were with me when I race," says Dempsey. "The kids are very young so I need to find a great furnished vehicle for all of us so they can be with me on the track."

Off to Le Mans

Dempsey, who is traveling around the world to race in different venues – including next weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans in France – on his summer break from filming Grey's Anatomy, likens racing to acting.

"I am very focused," he says. "I sit and wait for a race the same way I wait for a scene to be shot on TV or in film. I pace myself emotionally and calm down so when I am on, I am really on."

Even though he has signed for two more years with Grey's Anatomy, when the show breaks for hiatus, Dempsey's professional life is totally devoted to his racing career, which often coincides with fund-raising for favorite charities like breast cancer.

"When I am not with the kids, I spend all of my off time from the show working toward improving my racing skills," he says. "I love it. I love the healthy competition."

Though his wife and children weren't with him at Saturday's race, his mother, sister and other family members cheered him on. "I grew up ski-racing with my family and to them being here feels like I've come home," he says. "I am looking forward to the day my own kids can be at my side."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters