The 30-year-old professional race car driver, who finished as Emily Maynard's runner-up during The Bachelorette's eighth and most recent edition, has removed himself from consideration to star on the upcoming season of The Bachelor to focus on his racing career.
"The Bachelorette was an amazing experience but I will not continue with The Bachelor; ultimately I realized my heart is tied to the racetrack and my career is my main priority. I'm looking forward to getting back on the track," Luyendyk Jr. said in a statement released by his management company Friday.
However, Luyendyk Jr. -- who hopes to begin his return to racing with The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and then compete in the 2013 Indy Car Season -- admitted he will still consider future entertainment opportunities if they work around his training and team schedules.
In addition, Olympic swimmer and gold medalist Ryan Lochte has openly expressed interest in starring as the franchise's seventeenth-season Bachelor.
According to The Bachelor executive producer Mike Fleiss, the next star of The Bachelor will be decided this week.
"We start shooting later this month. A decision must be made this week," Fleiss tweeted on Monday.
(Photo credit ABC)
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