IRL: Indy500 Other Drivers Talk about "Arie's Final 500"

QUOTES ABOUT "ARIE'S FINAL 500" FROM HIS FELLOW COMPETITORS TONY STEWART: (About participating in Arie's last race) "I'm glad to be a part of it. I learned a lot from Arie in the three years we raced together. He was the guy I worried about...


TONY STEWART: (About participating in Arie's last race) "I'm glad to be a part of it. I learned a lot from Arie in the three years we raced together. He was the guy I worried about every week. You could never count him out in any battle." (About when Stewart was the young gun and Luyendyk was the master): "The key is the master. Being a young gun meant nothing compared to his experience. He set the benchmark around here and he still does."

ELISEO SALAZAR: "He's smooth and fast here, so I'm glad he's leaving. He's just nice to race with. He's such a good driver and so clean on the track. When I won at Las Vegas, it was real enjoyable because we changed places several times."

BUDDY LAZIER: "I think Arie is truly generous -- always helpful to new drivers. He's a very humble fellow, and I like him a lot. We've had a good time. He has a tremendous temper on the racetrack. I remember when he flipped off a driver, knocked his headrest off, and the whole field went yellow. We'll miss him a lot."

DAVEY HAMILTON: "Arie is awesome. He is the best speaker in the IRL. He's the best technical driver, and I wish he wasn't retiring. I hope he returns. He has taught me to drive hard and the importance of being with a good team."

JEFF WARD: "Arie is an icon to Indy. His name is among everyone, master of qualifying, and a big hit to lose. He helped me a lot in 1995, and I know he's answered my questions honestly."

JAQUES LAZIER: "Arie is a good friend and a mentor. He is a hero and someone to look up to. There couldn't be a nicer person. He teaches you to follow smooth lines, and he's good around the track."

TYCE CARLSON: "Arie has done a lot of things for the sport. He's a hero and an ambassador. He's given many examples of great driving."

RAUL BOESEL: "He was a character, a good driver and a friend. We've raced together for a long time."

GREG RAY: "A true gentleman in every aspect. An incredible showman and spokesman. A hard racer. It's always nice to race against a caliber driver."

KENNY BRACK: "He is a legend. He meant a lot to the IRL. I think he made the right decision."

DONNIE BEECHLER: "I just met Arie last year. As a rookie he was my mentor. He is terrific both on and off the track. I wish I had gotten to know him more. It's a big loss for the IRL."

ROBERTO GUERRERO: "Arie has been great not only on the sport, but to Indianapolis. Arie and I are very similar in background. I've known him since 1980. We used to run Formula One together. He always amazed me. It doesn't matter what teams he's with, or cars he drives -- he always does well."

JERET SCHROEDER: "He's to me, as famous as can be. I basically grew up watching Arie. He's one of the biggest, and I was always rooting for him. He's a great talent and a fabulous driver. Everyone respects him."

JOHN HOLLANSWORTH JR.: "An Indy Racing League legend. An elder statesman and spokesperson for the league and the sport. He's from a diverse background of racing. I'm sorry to see him go. I was here when he won in the Domino's car in 1990. As an Indy 500 winner, he is inspiring."

WIM EYCKMANS: "He's a great guy. A lot of experience. I know his father. He used to build my gearboxes. From 1991, I started to follow Arie. He's really nice. One of the best IRL drivers. A fair driver, and a great guy."

STEVE KNAPP: "I've watched and admired Arie since 1981, when he and my dad both raced in the Super Vee series. Arie was the only driver I could feel comfortable calling up on the phone and asking for advice. If he wasn't there, he would call me back. Whatever the question, he was always there with an answer for me. The sport won't be the same without him, and it will lose a great friend and driver when he gets out for the final time."

JIMMY KITE: "Arie makes you push the pedal harder. He's a good personality to have around. You could always talk to him. I remember passing him at Pikes Peak, and thought to myself, "I just passed Arie Luyendyk. He is inspiring."

SAM SCHMIDT: "An IRL figurehead. He's the most popular driver, the most recognizable. He has assisted me as a driver and a person."

ROBBY McGEHEE: "Obviously, I have the greatest respect for him. He's amazing. He's an icon. He's great to race against and is one of those guys you look up to."

ROBERTO MORENO: "He has meant a lot to the IRL. When you think of Arie, you think of the Indy 500. He has inspired us to race for the Indy 500. I remember when he came to America he got a great break which got him into Indy. I hope he doesn't mind finishing second at the '500' (laughing)."

SCOTT HARRINGTON: "He's been one of the biggest benefits to Indy-car racing, especially the IRL. He's been an ambassador. I see what a gracious person he is on and off the track. He's a class person."

STAN WATTLES: "He's been a true ambassador. It's a pleasure and an honor to race against him in the IRL. Recently he's been a great help. He's always been available for advice. His wit in the drivers meetings has been great."

DR. JACK MILLER: "It's a honor to race with the guy. My goal was to race against Mario (Andretti), and when he dropped out, I had to pick a new one (driver). Arie was the one. He used to race Super Vee, and so did I. I also read about him wanting to be a dentist."

JOHNNY UNSER: "I'm so thrilled that Arie is on the pole. If it has to be anyone else other than me (on the pole), I'm glad it's Arie. It's great for the IRL to have Arie on the pole."

BUZZ CALKINS: "It's good to see what he did yesterday (winning the pole). He's a great ambassador. He is going to be missed. He's been a big help to me. He's always offered advice."

SCOTT GOODYEAR: " I think that he is one of the true celebrities here. A Hollywood celebrity. Competing here, he's brought a lot of fan interest. I think he's one of the reasons I understand the Speedway. It's been a pleasure to be his teammate as a rookie in 1990 and again in 1997."

MIKE GROFF: "Arie has meant a great deal to the sport. Everyone associates his name with Indy Racing. He's an ambassador, and he's going to be missed. He has influenced me. Anyone who can run the way he does year after year is amazing."

EDDIE CHEEVER JR.: "Arie has a natural talent for speed. Sometimes, when you look at a driver, you can see the speed on their face. With Arie, you look at him, and he's just smiling away, he's so comfortable. Almost laughing at us all. He is very special. I will personally miss racing with and against him greatly."

Source: IRL/IMS

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Arie Luyendyk