Former Indy Lights racer and season eight "The Bachelorette" first runner-up Arie Luyendyk Jr. has turned to his fans to help him get back on track. Luyendyk has tapped an international crowdfunding website, which could put thousands of race fans pictures right on the track with him as he attempts to raise the funding to compete in Robby Gordon's newly formed off-road Stadium Super Trucks series.
"Doing what you love is most important and racing is my life, my passion," said Luyendyk. "The thrill I get when I'm racing is indescribable. I've always wanted to be able to better share that experience with the fans. I think with this initiative a part of everyone will be right there racing for the win with me. Sharing in the extreme highs of winning races and visiting victory circle. But also in the extreme lows of our sport-mechanical failures and frustrations from lack of results. We'll be in it together as a team."
After a chance meeting at the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season finale at Fontana between Luyendyk and Gordon, Luyendyk has been anxious to try his hand at the off-road style of racing.
Luyendyk, the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, has competed in various racing series from Formula Ford to USF2000 and the A1GP. He finished runner-up in points in Firestone Indy Lights Series and qualified for his first Indianapolis 500 in 2006.
"First off, I'm super impressed with the stadium truck after testing it several times," continued Luyendyk. "I've never driven anything off road before, so I'm stepping into new territory here. The stadium truck is so much fun and such an adrenaline rush. There's nothing like hitting the perfect jump and I can't image how the racing would feel. This could get addictive real fast."
Given Luyendyk's deep-rooted racing background, it was no surprise when series' founder Gordon offered him a test that Luyendyk would jump at the chance. Gordon, a six-time off-road racing champion and popular fixture on the NASCAR racing circuit, announced plans for the off-road series in mid-2012.
"To have Arie Luynedyk Jr. in our series, it gives us Indy 500-winning genes, a TV personality and a fan base that is different than any other driver's fan base in motorsports today," said Gordon. "We're really excited to have Arie to participate in Robby Gordon Off Road and look forward to him driving in the stadiums. He's been exciting to watch during testing and has done a good job getting accustomed to the 600hp Stadium SUPER Trucks."
The series is set to debut in April 2013 nationally on NBC with 11 U.S. events and one international event, making stops in many of the top markets across the country. The series, sanctioned by USAC, is expected to feature 30 drivers per weekend behind the wheel of 600 hp V8 engines.
Indiegogo, an international crowdfunding site where anyone can raise funds for various projects, is hosting Luyendyk's initiative and fans can donate to his efforts at www.ArieTruck.com.