IPS: Fontana: Arie Luyendyk Jr preview

"California 100" pre-race quotes from Arie Luyendyk, Jr.: (Take us on a lap of California Speedway): "It's just flat out for us. You leave the pits, turn left and it's flat out. It's pretty much identical to Michigan. Your car is pretty much...

"California 100" pre-race quotes from Arie Luyendyk, Jr.:

(Take us on a lap of California Speedway): "It's just flat out for us. You leave the pits, turn left and it's flat out. It's pretty much identical to Michigan. Your car is pretty much trimmed out - you have no drag in the car at all, as far as the Pro Series is concerned. You want to try to concentrate on driving on the bottom of the race track. You need to make sure your car is aerodynamically clean through the air, be flat out all the way around, and be smooth with the steering wheel. It's a very smooth track - there's only like one or two bumps. Just make sure your car is good in traffic because it will be a huge drafting race."

(About potential to win at California Speedway): "The track is pretty much the same as Michigan. We got the pole last year at Michigan, we got the pole this year at Michigan, so I'm hoping we can get the pole and pull out a win in California. We do have a different engineer (than the team had in Michigan) so the car will be set up differently. We won't have the setup from Michigan, so we can't use it, but I'm sure Mark Moore (engineer) will figure out something good there."

(How has your Pro Series year gone so far in 2003): "The year has not gone that well, but we've learned a lot. Going into the year, I was probably the hopeful to win the championship. I was second overall last year, and A.J. (Foyt IV) moved up to the IndyCar series. The light was really shining on me to do well. We started off pretty good in the first race, ran second the whole race, but slipped back to fourth at the end, so that wasn't too bad. Any time you can finish in the top five it is a good race. Then the second race, I qualified third, but then that is when things kind of started going downhill. I crashed in the warmup, and then we had to start last because the car was not ready in time. That was kind of the beginning of the bad streak of races we had. After that, in Indianapolis, the car broke - we had a fire after qualifying fifth. Then we kind of bounced back and finished third at Pikes Peak after starting last or second last. The car was great, so that spurred some hope. Then there was Nashville, Michigan and Kansas where we just had a string of bad luck - a crash or a really bad handling car. It's been kind of an up-and-down roller coaster of a ride season because every time we think we've got some momentum going, we get kind of knocked down and finish on the bottom somehow. This is really the only time of the season where we've got a little rhythm going by finishing third, then fourth, then fourth again at Chicagoland last week. We've been up there with the leaders the last few races, so we need to keep that up and just move up a couple of spots."

(Regarding 2004 plans): "We are definitely working towards running in the IRL next year. I hope to get a ride with a good IRL team, that's the most important thing right now. Hopefully we can raise the sponsorship dollars it takes. Rookie seasons are important, because that's your first impression within the League. I hope to do well and I hope to find a home with a good (IRL) team. That would be the ideal situation. If I don't find a ride in the IRL, I'm not sure what we'll do - we'll probably find ourselves in the Pro Series again. But we're really, really working hard to get a ride in the IRL. If we can't get a full season put together, then hopefully we can do at least a partial season. We'll see how it goes. My expectations are that if I do have a full-season ride, to net a whole bunch of top-10 finishes would be my goal. I want to set realistic goals because I know the competition is really strong out there. If I do get with one of the better teams, then of course I'll have to do better than top-10 finishes - we'll need some wins."

-www.arieluyendykjr.com

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Arie Luyendyk