updated 01/10/2012 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 01/10/2012 AT 3:45 PM ET
Fans may love Patrick Dempsey best as Dr. Derek Shepherd on Grey’s Anatomy but the actor says he’s got another passion to pursue before he’ll commit to another season on the show.
“The biggest point for me in negotiations is getting time off to come race, so if I don’t miss races, I’ll probably stay on Grey’s Anatomy, Dempsey told reporters Sunday at the Daytona International Speedway where he was testing his car for an upcoming race.
Last year, Dempsey (who turns 46 on Friday) said the next season of the show would be his last, but his publicist downplayed those comments, saying that the actor was referring to his contract being up.
Now, it seems, he may have more life on Grey’s after all.