My Val­ley of the Sun

Arie Luyendyk Jr.

Where Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE -

The TORC racer and one­time “Bach­e­lorette” con­tes­tant talks about out­door pur­suits and great food here at home.

The son of a two-time Indy 500 win­ner has found his own iden­ti­ties rac­ing in Indy Lights, 12 Hours of Se­bring, 24 Hours of Day­tona and The O -Road Cham­pi­onship ( TORC)—and ap­pear­ing on a sea­son of ro­man­tic re­al­ity TV.

Where do you live?

I live just a few feet from where I grew up on Scotts­dale and Shea. I love my lit­tle place and how cen­tral I am. Liv­ing within walk­ing dis­tance from a lot of my fa­vorite spots has been per­fect.

When you’re rec­og­nized around town, is it for your rac­ing ca­reer or for ap­pear­ing on “The Bach­e­lorette”?

Phoenix isn’t ex­actly crazy about rac­ing, so I’d say peo­ple usu­ally rec­og­nize me from the show. It’s al­ways at­ter­ing when I’m out and some­one spots me. My ex­pe­ri­ence was re­ally pos­i­tive on the show, so I don’t mind chat­ting about it with peo­ple I meet.

Open-wheel, en­durance, o -road truck rac­ing— which is the tough­est?

IndyCar/Indy Lights is de nitely the most phys­i­cal. No power steer­ing, huge loads while cor­ner­ing and no power brakes make it ex­tremely chal­leng­ing. O -road is a di er­ent type of abuse. I wouldn’t call it phys­i­cal, but land­ing side­ways o of jumps and deal­ing with ex­tremely hot tem­per­a­tures in the truck can beat you up. They are both ex­haust­ing but in com­pletely op­po­site ways.

What rac­ing cat­e­gory or se­ries do you hope to com­pete in some­time down the road?

Global Ral­ly­cross piques my in­ter­est, and so does get­ting back to open-wheel rac­ing. I miss push­ing a car ca­pa­ble of in­sane cor­ner­ing speeds. In the mean­time I’ll be jump­ing trucks, which isn’t half-bad either.

Where do you go to eat, ex­er­cise and re­lax?

I love Phoenix be­cause of all the things we’re able to do out­doors. I’m al­ways nd­ing new places to hike, and lately I’ve been driv­ing a lot of UTVs on the trails around Lake Pleas­ant. As far as food goes, I’m guilty of eat­ing at Sauce for lunch al­most daily. Ask­ing where I eat din­ner is like choos­ing your fa­vorite kid; we have so many great places to go. Lately I’ve been eat­ing at Postino, Pita Jun­gle and Flower Child.

Let’s say you’re head­ing to your par­ents’ house in Foun­tain Hills for din­ner. Where do you pick up some­thing thought­ful so you don’t show up empty-handed?

We are co ee drinkers and my mom has enough wine to get her through 2020, so we are cov­ered there. I usu­ally just come empty-handed. Am I a bad son?!

When you have friends visit you in Ari­zona, to what three places do you in­sist on send­ing them or tak­ing them?

Camel­back Moun­tain, if they look like they can make it to the top, Postino for good live mu­sic and wine, and The Lit­tle Woody for Moscow mules and de­bauch­ery.

When you’re not in Ari­zona, what do you miss?

I miss the dry heat. Hu­mid­ity is a mood killer. I miss the smell of the desert. Is that weird? Lastly, I miss the food. The food in this city is on point.

Of all the places you’ve com­peted or va­ca­tioned in, what’s your fa­vorite?

I’d have to say Syd­ney. Per­fect blend of city life mixed with beaches and peo­ple who are in­ter­est­ing and well-dressed. Think Lon­don meets Cal­i­for­nia.

What place in the world have you not vis­ited yet, but hope to?

Brazil, Moscow and Ja­pan are on the list. I need to start plan­ning.

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