My Valley of the Sun
Arie Luyendyk Jr.
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.