Arie Luyendyk took to Twitter on Tuesday to congratulate the newest Indianapolis 500 champion, Tony Kanaan, and give his approval for IndyCar’s quest to break his speed records at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Tony Kanaan a deserving winner of Indy 500 and long overdue too. He broke my average race speed record and I’m totally ok with that!” Luyendyk wrote.
Luyendyk held the race speed average record from 1990 until Sunday, and continues to hold the one, four, and unofficial lap records on the legendary 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as he has since 1996 (his No. 5 car is pictured next to Ryan Hunter-Reay’s).
“Records are meant to be broken I can’t wait for them to break my qualifying records at Indy, good for our sport,” he wrote.
“I think breaking the qualifying record is achievable within a year but because of containing costs and development it could take longer,” he added.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.