Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk and four-time 500 victor Rick Mears are the latest racing legends selected for the inaugural 'Firestone Heroes of Indy' celebration at Texas Motor Speedway's Indy Racing League finale on Sunday 12 October.

Luyendyk is the eighth driver named for the 25-lap Thunder Roadsters race, which will be staged on the circuit's frontstretch paved quarter-mile oval. Mears will serve as the event's flagman, while the remaining two drivers of the ten selected for the field will be announced soon.

Luyendyk joins Brickyard legends Johnny Rutherford, Gordon Johncock, Parnelli Jones, Pancho Carter, Bill Vukovich II, Lloyd Ruby and Jim McElreath as drivers of the early front-engine Indy roadster replicas. AJ Foyt has been named as grand marshal, while Al Unser will drive the pace car.

All three four-time Indianapolis 500 winners - Foyt, Unser and now Mears - are now confirmed for the Firestone-supported 'Heroes of Indy'.

Mears' incredible career driving for Roger Penske included victories in 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1991 in 'the greatest spectacle in racing', and is also the only six-time Indy 500 polesitter.

Luyendyk won the 1990 and 1997 Indianapolis 500s and sat on the pole three times - in 1993, 1997 and 1999. He ranks fifth all-time in career Indianapolis 500 mileage at 7392.5 miles.

"The addition of Luyendyk and Mears to the already stellar field will make the 'Firestone Heroes of Indy' even more of a treat for the fans," said Texas Speedway general manager, Eddie Gossage, "Arie has Texas ties, having won the first ever IndyCar Series race at the speedway in 1997, while Rick's accomplishments at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during his career are nothing short of remarkable."

 

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