Arie Luyendyk Jr - Anne Proffit photoEnlarge Photo
Arie Luyendyk Jr has raced Indy cars, Firestone Indy Lights cars and A1GP formula cars, among his higher-profile gigs. He currently serves as one of the squadron driving the street-legal Indy car that makes the rounds at every stop on the IZOD IndyCar Series and takes patrons for rides around the tracks. He also works with Zanardi America, distributing Italian racing karts made under the Zanardi (think CART champion Alex) name.
People in the racing business and fans know the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner (and the fastest driver ever at The Brickyard) Arie Luyendyk for his racing exploits, but now fans of ABC-TV's The Bachelorette are discovering the 30-year-old racecar driver.
Luyendyk is one of 25 select suitors vying for the hand of Emily Maynard (former fiancee of the late Ricky Hendrick) on the Monday night television show. He's making his name known to people who know nothing about motor racing and could bring more fans to the sport with his engaging attitude, good looks and subtle charm.
On the Memorial Day show, Luyendyk gets his first one-on-one date with Maynard.
But before that, he'll be at Indianapolis Motor Speedway serving as color commentator for Friday's Carb Day Firestone Indy Lights race, the Freedom 100. His understanding of the series, cars, teams and drivers always makes the broadcasts on NBC Sports Network compelling viewing.
Will Luyendyk make it through Monday night's special date with a rose, emblematic of a return the following week? We'll have to check in and find out. Although we asked Arie how long he was going to be part of The Bachelorette, he said he wasn't allowed to tell us. So I guess we'll have to watch and see.