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LUYENDYK'S HAPPY TO BE INDY 500 FAVORITE

Arie Luyendyk holds nearly every record for speed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and he's delighted being considered the favorite to win Sunday's Indianapolis 500.

"It's good to be in this situation. It's a situation that I wanted to be in when I signed up with Treadway Racing. We wanted to win the Indianapolis 500 this year," he said Thursday.Luyendyk's winning speed of 185.981 mph in 1990 remains the fastest of the 79 previous Indy 500s. This month, he drove the fastest unofficial lap of 239.260 mph in practice and then set official one- and four-lap qualifying records of 237.498 and 236.984.

The Netherlands-born driver, who now resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., has recorded the day's fastest speed on eight of the 13 days of practice this month.

"It's nice to be the fastest every day. It gives the team a lot of confidence. It gives me a lot of confidence," said Luyendyk, whose only disappointment this month came on the opening day of time trials when he had to switch to a backup car because of engine problems and apparently qualified for the middle of the front row.