Lyenudyk Jr. to run Freedom 100
Andersen Racing is pleased to announce that it has signed the most popular driver in Firestone Indy Lights history, Arie Luyendyk Jr., to be Carmen Jorda's teammate in the Firestone Freedom 100 Firestone Indy Lights race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 12:30 p.m. on Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday, May 28.
Information on the companies that are making Luyendyk's appearance at IMS in 2010 a reality will be announced at a press conference in the Economaki Press Conference Room on the first floor of the track's media center at 2:30 p.m. on American Family Insurance 500 Festival Community Day, Wednesday, May 26.
Luyendyk is the 28-year-old son of two-time Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk Sr. He has been creating his own legacy in the sport, with accomplishments in karting, USF2000, Barber Dodge, A1GP, Firestone Indy Lights and one start in the Indianapolis 500 (2006) to his credit.
He has more starts than any other driver in the history of Firestone Indy Lights with 62 and more laps completed than anyone else with 3,487. He led 10 races and was running at the finish in 49 of them. He is third on the list of career top-five finishes with 24 and he tops the chart for top-10 finishes with 47.
Although he has most recently been seen working as an expert racing analyst for the VERSUS cable TV network, Luyendyk finished fourth in Firestone Indy Lights in 2008, posting a victory at Chicagoland Speedway. It was a thrilling event, as he passed his teammate that year, Raphael Matos, with a move to the inside on a restart on the white-flag lap and then held off Ana Beatriz by 0.0817 of a second for the victory.
Luyendyk finished third in the Firestone Indy Lights series in 2004 and second in the same series in 2002. He was voted the series' "Most Popular Driver" four years in a row, 2003-2006.
His best finish in the 40-lap Firestone Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to date is third in 2004.
"I am thrilled to be back in a race car, especially at Indianapolis!" said Luyendyk, who was born in the Netherlands but is a long-time resident of Scottsdale, Ariz. "I have known Dan and John Andersen of Andersen Racing since my days in USF2000. I have always had a great relationship with them over the years, and now I'll finally have an opportunity to drive one of their cars.
"Indianapolis means more to me than I can express," he added. "I've come back to win, and I'm confident that Andersen Racing will give me a car that can make that a reality."
"We are pleased to add Arie to our lineup at Andersen Racing," said team co-owner Dan Andersen. "We've known him since he competed in USF2000, and we've watched his performances in recent years in Firestone Indy Lights with great interest. He clearly is a winner, and with the car we know we can give him at Indy, it's exciting to look forward to having some fun in the Firestone Freedom 100."
Luyendyk had been trying to land a ride for this year's Indy 500, but did not secure enough funding in time. "The next best thing is the Firestone Freedom 100, and for that race my first choice was Andersen Racing," he said.
"This deal came together in a matter of hours, and we moved quickly when the opportunity arose to secure him as a driver," Andersen noted.
Andersen Racing is based at Andersen RacePark in Palmetto, Fla. Allied Building Products Corp sponsors the team. It has three Firestone Indy Lights victories to its credit with drivers Mario Romancini and J.R. Hildebrand. Romancini came from 18th to finish third in last year's Firestone Freedom 100 driving for the team.
While he pursues rides in both Firestone Indy Lights and the IZOD IndyCar Series with the help of Brian Marks of TopSpeed Management, Luyendyk stays in shape by competing in karting events, where he is sponsored by Mo's Gold Advantage.
Luyendyk will have to get up to speed quickly. He'll have just two 45-minute practice sessions at 9 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, May 27 before time trials are held at 3 p.m. that afternoon. The pre-race activities begin at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, May 28.
Luyendyk's Web site is located at arieluyendyk.com, while Andersen Racing's Web site is at andersenracingteam.com.
The series' Web site is at indycar.com. It features live timing and scoring and video coverage of all the Firestone Indy Lights races.
Andersen Racing competes in karting and Star Mazda in addition to Firestone Indy Lights. A sister company, Andersen Promotions, administers the newly revived USF2000 National Championship, which is presented by Cooper Tires and powered by Mazda. That series will be in action during the Night Before the 500 show at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis on Saturday, May 29.
Luyendyk competed in the USF2000 series before advancing to Firestone Indy Lights and IndyCar.