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Actor/racer Patrick Dempsey confirms contract extension with 'Grey's Anatomy'

Driver Patrick Dempsey laughs with other drivers in the Fanzone area during an autograph session prior to the start of the IMSA Series Rolex 24 hour auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

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Driver Patrick Dempsey laughs with other drivers in the Fanzone area during an autograph session prior to the start of the IMSA Series Rolex 24 hour auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Patrick Dempsey's acting and racing careers will be intermingled for the foreseeable future.

Dempsey, a driver/owner racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance event this weekend, confirmed Saturday night that he has signed a two-year contract extension to continue with the popular television series "Grey's Anatomy." The show has not officially been picked up beyond its 10th season, but Dempsey's deal provides a strong indication that it will be back.

Dempsey also plans to run a full season in the United SportsCar Championship, racing in the fourth-tier GTD class.

Dempsey said the acting gig has been a huge help to his other full-time job. Dempsey and co-driver Andrew Davis are racing 13 events — which would be the actor's first full season.

"'Grey's' does a remarkable job scheduling around these races now, and I wouldn't be able to do it without them," Dempsey said. "The fact that they continue to let me race is remarkable in itself, so I am grateful for that and grateful to have employment that is known around the world. It gives me a platform to come and do this type of thing, and it helps the sponsors.

"I'm lucky to have the gig."

When the 48-year-old Dempsey was asked whether he's had any thoughts about giving up acting for racing, he said, "When I grow up, I want to race full time."

Dempsey has raced professionally for nearly a decade. He is coming off his most successful season, which included a third-place finish at Circuit of The Americas and a second-place finishes at Laguna Seca and Petit at Le Mans. He also was fourth at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, teaming with Joe Foster and Patrick Long.

In 2012, Dempsey and Foster co-drove to a pair of top-three podium finishes in the ALMS series, which merged with Grand-Am to become United SportsCar in 2014.

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