Luyendyk ready for Indy's big stage

DEAN MCNULTY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

INDIANAPOLIS -- Big-time auto racing always has been one sport where bloodlines run deep.

In NASCAR there are the Earnhardts, the Waltrips and the Parsons and at the Indianapolis 500 the list of family connections is long and storied, from the Unsers, Andrettis and Foyts to the Mears and Rahal dynasties.

Yesterday, in qualifying for tomorrow's Indy Lights Freedom 500, another son of an Indy 500 winner will take to the big stage.

Aire Luyendyk Jr., son of two time Indy winner Arie Luyendyk, qualified his Andretti Green Racing Dallara 18th on the 27-car grid with a speed of 186.232 m.p.h.

"I'm a little disappointed," Luyendyk said. "We were fourth quickest in the morning session in traffic, so I feel pretty confident that we can challenge for the win tomorrow."

Britain's Dillon Battistini will start on the pole after a lap of 188.397 m.p.h. and James Davison of Australia will start second on a lap of 188.390.

The only Canadian connection in the Indy Lights race -- the Ontario based Brain Stewart Racing -- will start third after Wade Cunningham, of New Zealand, turned a lap of 188.060 m.p.h.

HATS OFF TO ROTH

Canada's lone representative in Sunday's Indianapolis 500 got a little help yesterday.

Marty Roth, driver/owner of Roth Racing, announced that LIDS, a specialty retailer that makes all types of hats, will be the primary sponsor of his No. 25 Dallara.

"We are very pleased to have LIDS come on board as the primary sponsor of the No. 25 car," team boss Margaret Roth said.

"Having them join us is especially gratifying considering our Canadian connections. LIDS has a number of stores throughout Canada and, being from Canada, we feel honoured that they have chosen to sponsor the only Canadian driver in the IndyCar Series."


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