Arie Luyendyk won’t be alone when he delivers a brief speech during the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America induction ceremony Aug. 6 in Detroit.
The two-time Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner wants to share the honor with “everybody who has supported me through the years.”
The 26th class also includes Rusty Wallace, drag racer Raymond Beadle, Bardahl Oil Company founder Ole Bardahl, IMSA co-founder John Bishop, three-time AMA Grand National champion Ricky Graham, and 1952 and '54 AAA stock car champion and 1957 Indianapolis 500 competitor Marshall Teague.
“What I want to emphasize in my speech is you can’t do it alone,” said Luyendyk, who resides in Scottsdale, Ariz. “You might be a good driver, but there is so much more to it. When you’re young you always think it’s about you, but it goes from the guy who drives the truck to the crew and then, of course, to the people paying for it.
“I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished but it’s not been possible without the help of a lot of people. I can think of a lot of people who supported me through the years who were ecstatic after I won Indy. For me, (my career) was stressful.”
Luyendyk, 60, of the Netherlands, won the 500 Mile Race in 1990 and '97 and earned the pole in 1993, '97 and '99. He holds the Indianapolis Motor Speedway qualifying lap record of 237.498 mph set in 1996, and his average speed record set in 1990 (185.981 mph) was finally broken by Tony Kanaan (187.433 mph) in May 2013.
“I never thought coming from Holland at the end of 1980 to compete in my very first race in the USA at Phoenix International Raceway and exploring the USA racing scene that I would end up winning Indy twice and compete in Indy cars for 18 years,” he said.
Luyendyk competed in his first full Champ Car season in 1985, winning rookie of the year title in the series and Indianapolis 500. The 1990 Indy 500, in which he was driving for Doug Shierson Racing, was his first victory in the series. Overall, he made 18 starts at the Speedway.
A victory in the 1998 Rolex 24 At Daytona also is among his accomplishments.