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New "Bachelor" Arie Luyendyk Jr. ready to hand out his own roses

ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- Arie Luyendyk Jr. is the new Bachelor!

Ending weeks of speculation, the race car driver made the announcement on ABC's Good Morning America Thursday morning.

"I just kind of went in with an open mind, open heart," Luyendyk said of his decision to become the Bachelor. "It just kind of hit me right now that I'm here."

Luyendyk, 35, is no stranger to the Bachelor franchise, having first appeared on season eight of The Bachelorette in 2012, when he tried unsuccessfully to win over Emily Maynard.

Last year, he told Us Weekly magazine that previously, he’d had discussions about becoming the Bachelor, but it didn’t pan out until now.

Luyendyk revealed today that he kept his Bachelor plans "so under wraps" that his family only found out today along with the rest of the reality show's fans.

"It’s been such a quick turn of events and my family doesn’t know," said Luyendyk, whose dad is also a racecar driver. "So now they know. So they know along with you guys."

When Luyendyk tried to woo Maynard, he earned the nickname the "kissing bandit." He said he could live up to that nickname again if he finds "the right woman."

"Obviously there’s got to be that chemistry there," he said. "Emily and I had it previously and I’m hoping to find that type of love, for sure."

Luyendyk said he believes the same decisiveness that helps him on the racetrack will help him as the Bachelor.

When it comes to finding love, he is looking for a woman who has it all, noting he wants someone who is "independent, strong, but then still gentle. A little mix."

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