The Bachelor is a fast-paced pursuit of romance, but Arie Luyendyk Jr. is used to that kind environment. Thrills (and winning) are practically in the suitor's blood. Not only has he been on the ABC franchise already with The Bachelorette, but new Bachelor Arie's dad is a famous racecar driver with two Indy 500 titles.
Arie Luyendyk is from the Netherlands, where he worked in his father's garage and got into cars at a young age, and as a driver was known as "The Flying Dutchman," according to People. Nicknames also seem to run in this family, as Arie was called "The Kissing Bandit" back in his Bachelorette days.
Anyway, Luyendyk Senior has won a ton of racing competitions, also per People. Early on he was the Dutch Formula Ford champion in 1973, the European Formula Ford champion in 1975, and the European Super Vee champion in 1977; then went to the United State and won the Super Vee championship in 1984 and debuted as the "Rookie Of The Year" in the Indianapolis 500 in 1985. In 1990, he joined Doug Shierson Racing and drove a Dominos car. His two Indy 500 wins came in 1990 and 1997, and he continued to race up until 2002.
"What I liked about the older days at Indy was you had different cars and different engines and not all the tight and close racing you see today," Luyendyk said to ESPN when he was inducted into the NASCAR Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2014. "It was about having the best tire, car, engine — a lot of things had to come together. It's not like today where everyone has the same car." His first Indy 500 win set a record for average speed that wasn't broken until 2013.
In 2016, for the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis race, Luyendyk was named one of "The Greatest 33" Indy 500 drivers of all time by Indianapolis Monthly — impressive, as at the time, 70 different drivers had won the race in that span.
As Arie fans already know, our newest Bachelor has done some rookie racing and commentating in his time, but didn't pursue it as ardently as his father. At least he and his father have that in common, because he definitely didn't get the same hair gene. The Flying Dutchman was known for his luscious locks, and the younger Arie is rocking a slightly different look.
In a 2007 interview with RacingInside, Arie Jr. talked about growing up in the Netherlands and moving to the States with his famous father. Born in 1981, he was just a kid when his dad's career was picking up speed, pun intended. Also, according to him, the legacy goes even further back than his old man. "I think my granddad has a bigger influence on my [racing] career," he said. "He put me in a race car and was happy to see his grandchild racing. I always wanted to be a race driver and the fact that my granddad and also my father supported me means a lot to me. I enjoy racing and my father is not pushing me at all."
He also talks about go karting as an entryway into the racing world. If The Bachelor wants to bring that back — he and Emily partook in Hometown Week — that would make an amazing group date.
When Good Morning America announced Arie as the new star, he hadn't even told his parents yet. "He's finding out right now," he told Michael Strahan. "I kind of kept things under wraps." Nothing like breaking news to family on national television, right? "We thought he told you," Strahan joked. "We're sorry about that." Fans obviously met his family when Arie made it to the final two during Emily's Bachelorette season, but his dad and the rest will likely be making their comeback to the franchise this year too.