IPS: Luyendyk Jr to drive for Schmidt Motorsports

Arie Luyendyk Jr. to race with Sam Schmidt Motorsports in the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series in 2004. (Scottsdale, AZ) -- Arie Luyendyk Jr., the 2003 IRL Crew  "Most Popular Driver Award" winner for the Menards Infiniti Pro Series, will return...

Arie Luyendyk Jr. to race with Sam Schmidt Motorsports in the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series in 2004.

(Scottsdale, AZ) -- Arie Luyendyk Jr., the 2003 IRL Crew  "Most Popular Driver Award" winner for the Menards Infiniti Pro Series, will return to that series in 2004 driving the #5 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.    Arie Jr.'s plan of running in the IRL IndyCar Series is still a primary goal for 2004, and ongoing efforts continue to be made for a full or partial season program.  While partnerships are being put into place, the opportunity to continue to race in the Infiniti Pro Series became available through the Sam Schmidt Motorsports team.    "I am really happy to have the opportunity to race for Sam this year," Arie Jr. said as he prepares for the Infiniti Pro Series Open Test in Phoenix.  "I know he's got good equipment, good personnel and an all-around good team, so I should be able to do very well there and hopefully win a race or two.  Of course, we are still working on an IndyCar Series program for this year, and hope to have something in place soon.  But I need to be in a race car as much as possible, and this ride is giving me the opportunity to do that and stay sharp as the 2004 season starts.  I want to thank Sam for this ride - I hope I can reward him by landing in Victory Circle."   Sam Schmidt is happy to add Arie Jr. to his team and lineup of drivers, which includes Arie Jr.'s good friend, on-track rival and 2003 Texas winner, Thiago Medeiros.    "Arie Luyendyk Sr. and I were teammates on Fred Treadway's IndyCar team in '99 at Indy, and I still have that in my memory as one of my absolute best experiences as an IndyCar Series driver," related Schmidt.  "He was a phenomenal teammate.  Either one of us should have won (the Indy 500) in that year.  So to be able to put this deal together to run Arie Jr. is great for everybody.  I'm pleased to be running Junior.  I think he has a great personality and I think he's got a lot of talent - hopefully our team can help show that."    The IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series kicks off its 2004 season February 29th at the Homestead-Miami Speedway with the "Homestead-Miami 100."  ESPN2 will replay highlights from this event March 4 from 4:00-4:30 p.m. ET.    For more information about Sam Schmidt Motorsports, please visit their website at:  www.samschmidtmotorsports.com.  For more information about the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series, please visit www.indyracing.com/pro.   For more information about Arie Luyendyk Jr., please visit his website at:  www.ArieLuyendykJr.com.    -jv-

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Sam Schmidt , Thiago Medeiros , Arie Luyendyk Jr.