A Dominating Performance Turns into Disappointment
Since the switch to AFS Racing Arie has finished in the top 5 in every start and has completed every lap. Going into the California 100 Luyendyk was confident about his chances in his 30th career start in the IRL Infiniti Pro Series.
The weekend started out with Luyendyk on the top of the practice charts with an average speed of 191 mph. In the afternoon session Luyendyk dropped back as the car lost grip because of the increased track temperature. "The track was 30 degrees hotter and we missed on the set-up for this session, hopefully we can get the car right in qualifying."
In qualifying Arie Jr. held the top spot until ex team-mate Thiago Medeiros clinched the pole position. Luyendyk Jr. claimed his 4th front row start of the season, and 9th of his career.
Luyendyk would waste no time jumping into the lead on the first lap. The two would swap places a few times until Arie Jr. settled into the lead. "My car was hooked up, no one could pass me on the outside. I felt I was in control of the race."
Medeiros, Simmons and Chesson made attempts at passing Luyendyk on the outside. On the lap 27 after Luyendyk pulled out a three car length on the field, P.J. Chesson caught back up and made an attempt to pass on the back straight. Chesson clipped Luyendyk's right rear tire with his left front wing and Arie's day ended in a hurry as the tire deflated and sent him into a spin as he entered turn 3.
"I am so disappointed, after being so dominant in the race. I knew it could be my day. I have run up front so many races and something always seems to go wrong. I want to thank my crew for putting together one of the best racecars I have had in the Pro Series. I want to also thank all my sponsors and everyone who came out to see the race. It would have been great to bring home a win after so many struggles this year, I guess it wasn't meant to be."
Luyendyk is now surpassed by P.J. Chesson for third in the points. Next race is the Texas 100 on October 16th at Texas Motor Speedway. Check back for more updates on arieluyendyk.com