“The Bachelor” Arie Luyendyk Jr. to give Freedom 100 Command
 May 23, 2018| 
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SPEEDWAY, Ind. – The star of this season’s “The Bachelor” television reality show, Arie Luyendyk Jr., will give the command to fire the Mazda engines in the crown jewel of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires schedule – the Freedom 100 – on Friday, May 25, as part of Carb Day activities surrounding the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

The versatile driver, fresh from a victory the beginning of May in the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks race in Perth, Australia, is a race winner and veteran of the Indy Lights series. Luyendyk currently holds the record for the most starts at 66 which includes four Freedom 100s. He made his first start in 2002, when he finished second in the championship. He has also been an Indy Lights commentator for NBCSN in the past.

It is a homecoming of sorts for the 36-year-old Phoenix, Ariz., resident, who has also driven in the Indianapolis 500. Luyendyk has had a long-term relationship with series’ partner Cooper Tire. As a Cooper safety spokesperson, he has teamed with the manufacturer to support Cooper Tire’s Tread Wisely™ program, a tire and vehicle safety campaign for teens and young adults.

Luyendyk also raced on Cooper tires in the off-road TORC series, in a relationship that dates back to 2013.

In addition, one of his Freedom 100 starts was with the former Andersen Racing team, owned by Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions.

“It’s an honor to give the start command for the Freedom 100,” said Luyendyk.  “Some of my fondest memories are from racing Indy Lights and now seeing a lot of my former competitors, such as Ed Carpenter, competing for the win this Sunday in the Indy 500. This goes to show how well Indy Lights, as well as the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, prepares drivers for that next step to IndyCar. With such a reliable car and tire combination, it really puts winning in the driver’s hands, and for a development series that is key. The Freedom 100 is always a close finish and I’m excited to see a great race on Friday!”

NBCSN’s live coverage of the Freedom 100 will start at 12:10 pm EDT on Friday with pre-race ceremonies, including the command by Luyendyk at 12:25 pm, from atop the Victory Podium.

“It’s exciting to see Arie giving the starting command at the Freedom 100. He has a strong connection to the Indy Lights program and knows what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat at this important race,” said Chris Pantani, Cooper Tire’s Director of Motorsports. “It’s especially fitting for Arie to take on this role during National Tire Safety Week, happening now through May 28, as he’s had an important part in sharing tire safety information with young drivers through videos available on Cooper’s Tread Wisely program app and @TreadWisely1 social media channels.”

Luyendyk will return to racing action on June 1-3 as the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks head to Detroit for a double-header round as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series race weekend.

Track activities for the Freedom 100 will be underway tomorrow with practice from 10:00 am to 10:45 am followed by qualifying from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm. Coverage can be found on a series of platforms including Road to Indy TV, the Road to Indy TV App and dedicated broadcast channels on demand via Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku and, most recently, the Xbox One Official App as well as live streaming and live timing on the series’ website and indycar.com.

Indy Lights is also featured on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts on Sirius 214, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.

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