Before reality TV, Arie Luyendyk Jr. was making a name for himself on the racetrack — and we have epic throwback pics to prove it. Racing is a lucrative family business for The Bachelor star (don't believe us, just check out his net worth) and he was following in his dad's footsteps long before becoming famous on The Bachelorette.
However, for those who might not have been clued into the racing circuit before he was cast on Emily Maynard's season (i.e. everyone), we have some photo evidence from his glory days. Taken in 2003 at the California Speedway, a then 22-year-old Arie can be seen wearing a red racing suit and rocking some seriously flowing hair.
Arie with Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner in 2010.
While Arie, now 36, has definitely matured, he still has those dreamy blue eyes all these years later — and these glamour shots have surprisingly got us excited for his upcoming season of The Bachelor. Is it just us, or is he channeling his inner Derek Zoolander in these pics?
Arie, who also works as a real estate agent, will soon set off on a journey to find love — and we have some spoilers if you can't wait until the finale to see if he finds it. “This is pretty surreal,” he told People magazine before filming started. “It doesn’t really feel real yet, but I’m taking it step by step. The timing is just so perfect in my life. I could not be more excited for this journey I’m about to embark on.”
He continued, "Now that I’ve had some time and distance away from it, it feels like the feeling I had before I went into it the first time. I think sometimes when you’re on The Bachelorette and you jump right into being the Bachelor, for me it would’ve been too soon. This feels more natural. I’m not concerned what people think. I’m just focused on the outcome. I want to find my person and will do whatever it takes!”
Be sure to tune into The Bachelor when it premieres on Monday, Jan. 1, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC, and join our Bachelor Facebook group to chat about all the latest updates, exclusive interviews, and juicy gossip. Keep scrolling to see more pics of Arie before he found Bachelor fame!