The weekend after fans of ABC’s “The Bachelor” learned the controversial end to Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season as the leading man on the reality series, the former Indy car driver was all smiles when he showed up for INDYCAR’s season opener, The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this past weekend.

Understandable, because his new fiancée, Lauren Burnham, attended, too, and even agreed to be Mario Andretti’s celebrity passenger in Honda’s Fastest Seat in Sports, the Indy car two-seater ride that leads the field to the green flag at every Verizon IndyCar Series race.

“That was amazing. I had to close my eyes a couple of times because I was so freaked out, but it was so fun,” Burnham said of the thrill ride with the Indy car legend at the wheel. “It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Very cool.”  

Going out in public together is new to them because “The Bachelor” requires secrecy from its cast until the season is over. Considering that Luyendyk first proposed to another contestant, Becca Kufrin, and then changed his mind and is now engaged to Burnham, they said they weren’t sure what kind of reaction to expect.

“Since we’ve been out in public the past few days, everyone has been supportive,” Luyendyk said. “It’s been really sweet.”

What’s next for race car driver Arie, apparently not Dancing with the Stars. 

 “I think I made it pretty clear that I’m not going to do Dancing with the Stars. Although, we do have a lot of IndyCar drivers that have done that – (James Hincliffe) and Hélio (Castroneves), obviously. I think I’m pretty confident that my TV career is probably coming to an end, just because we want to settle down. And I think that I want to focus on her and our relationship.”  

I’m ready for a real athlete to be the next bachelor. How about a current NFL player, or NBA Guy, that would be appointment television. 

If people actually place wagers on the bachelor, does that make it a sport? Does kissing dozens of girl require any sort of athletic ability, no probably not. It’s definitely a guilty pleasure though.