IPS: Texas: Arie Luyendyk, Jr. race notes

ARIE LUYENDYK, JR. ACCIDENT DETAILS: Arie Luyendyk led laps 1-38 (from the pole) of the "dreamerscandles.com 100" with a pack of cars one to two car lengths behind him racing two- and three-wide, only inches apart. After being passed for the...

ARIE LUYENDYK, JR. ACCIDENT DETAILS:

Arie Luyendyk led laps 1-38 (from the pole) of the "dreamerscandles.com 100" with a pack of cars one to two car lengths behind him racing two- and three-wide, only inches apart. After being passed for the lead on lap 39 by Aaron Fike, Luyendyk was attempting to re-pass Fike and take over the lead again when Luyendyk and Mark Taylor made contact on the backstretch on lap 39 of the race. Luyendyk's right rear of his car came in contact with Taylor's left front, turning Luyendyk sideways in front of Taylor. That angle and the speed they were traveling at the time caused Luyendyk's car to turn upside down briefly, then roll back the same way it came, landing on Taylor's machine and doing a 360-degree pirouette over the car of Taylor. Both cars made contact with the outside retaining wall. Taylor's car slid along the outside retaining wall with Luyendyk's car on top of the nose of the car. The cars came to rest apart from each other in Turn 3. Both drivers climbed from their cars without assistance. After a thorough check up at the HCA Infield Care Center, both drivers were released and cleared to drive.

QUOTES FROM ARIE LUYENDYK, JR.:

"First, I want to thank my crew who worked so hard all year and gave me a pole-winning car this weekend, and my sponsors for supporting me. The car was great -- probably the strongest on the track all weekend. Unfortunately, we did not get the positive results we wanted in the race. I am thankful, though, that Mark (Taylor) and I were not hurt, as checking on Mark was my first priority after the accident. Winning races doesn't mean much if someone gets injured. It's a good thing he'd already wrapped up the championship so I didn't mess up his year.

"Although ultimately the crash was my fault, I really thought I was clear of Mark's car. I had a big run going on Aaron (Fike), who had just passed me for the lead earlier in that lap. Because of the rain that we all thought was coming, I didn't think I wanted to waste any time trying to get back around him -- if it was going to start raining, they would have to stop the race right away, and I wanted to resume my place at the front. So, when I got the momentum I thought I needed to get around him on the outside, I checked my mirrors knowing Mark was close by as I knew he was looking high, and didn't see him but wanted to be sure, so I gave him a little warning move to make sure he knew I was coming around, and then went high to make my pass. I really thought that even if he was that close he'd move a little bit up the track knowing I had a huge run on Aaron -- more than he did, I thought. But he didn't, and, of course, we crashed pretty hard. I am thankful we both walked away from the accident, but really sorry that we had to load up two really torn up race cars. That's not the way I was hoping to end this year. It's just a shame we couldn't have finished up front where we started."

PREVIOUS TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY EXPERIENCE:

Arie Luyendyk, Jr. raced in the final race of the 2002 IRL Infiniti Pro Series at TMS, qualifying 3rd and finishing 7th.

-al/jv-

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Mark Taylor , Arie Luyendyk , Aaron Fike