'The Bachelor' 2018 Casting: New Star Announced & It's Surprising [VIDEO]

After Rachel Lindsay’s season of ABC’s The Bachelorette gained a heavy amount of popularity for viewers, it’s safe to say many hoped that one of the guys who once vied for Lindsay’s love and affection would be the next Bachelor. Now, ABC has unveiled who that guy will be.

Sorry ladies – it’s not Peter Kraus (who was one of the candidates for it), Eric Bigger, or any of the other fan favorites from Lindsay’s season. Actually, none other than racecar driver Arie Luyendyk Jr. will star as The Bachelor for season 22 of the reality dating show. He announced the news during an appearance on Good Morning America Thursday morning. Fans might remember Luyendyk from Emily Maynard’s season of the show back in 2012.

“We’ve kept in touch over the last few years but this is just perfect, the timing of this really fit,” he told co-host Michael Strahan on the morning news show.” I was a little skeptical just because we’ve been in talks for a few years about doing it. But I just kind of went in with an open mind and an open heart and it kind of just hit me right now that I’m here.”

And apparently it’s been a long time coming. Luyendyk has been rumored to be the Bachelor ever since he was eliminated from Maynard’s season. Instead, Sean Lowe was the next bachelor. Interestingly enough, Luyendyk had already started taping some of the introductory segments before he found out he didn’t get the opportunity. Luyendyk was also a contender for the 2015 season, but Chris Soules won out for that one. But now, it’s safe to say it’s his time.

“I’ll be 36 in a few weeks so for me, it’s time,” he added. “All my friends around me have kids and have grown up. I feel like I’m the last one of my friends to really take that last step.”

Fans weren’t the only ones who were surprised with Luyendyk’s announcement. Apparently he kept the news from his close family and friends as well.

For those who aren’t familiar with Luyendyk, he’s kind of a big deal. The Netherlands native who moved to the United States when he was a toddler, has won the Indy 500 twice. He also works as a real estate broker in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Check out the announcement below.

Viewers can see Luyendyk in all of his glory when he makes his debut as the Bachelor on in January of next year on ABC.

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