Aranas exit NHRA Carolina Nationals in first round
The father-son Lucas Oil Pro Stock Motorcycle team of Hector Arana Sr. and Hector Arana Jr. exited the NHRA Carolina Nationals in the first round of eliminations but they didn’t go down without a fight.
Arana Sr. qualified 11th and Arana Jr. placed 12th on the grid, and both were chasing combinations and setups as they entered the first round of the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.
Arana Sr. faced Steve Johnson in the first round of Pro Stock Motorcycle eliminations. He enjoyed a slight advantage off the starting line but it was Johnson who lit the win light, 6.947 at 193.02 mph to 7.027 at 193.52 mph.
“It’s been a tough weekend,” Arana Sr. said. “Not for lack of trying things. We went through the whole bike. We had everything checked. We really haven’t found anything wrong with it. I just don’t know why the bike is acting this way now. We haven’t made any drastic changes. We did try some things but we went back to our baseline. Obviously, there’s something going on and we’re going to have to find it.”
Arana Jr. and Matt Smith were the final pair to go down the 121-degree track in the first round of eliminations. Smith pulled a holeshot, .031 to .096, and ran a 6.924 at 191.43 mph to defeat Arana’s 6.934 at 194.16 mph.
“Hopefully this is the last of that nonsense,” Arana Jr. said. “It’s just one of those weird weekends. I guess that’s part of drag racing. Everybody has days like this. Look at Jack Beckman: He’s been lighting the world on fire but went out in the first round. We’ve been running strong, too, and for whatever reason we had a little hiccup this weekend, but unfortunately it had to happen when the Countdown started.
“At least it happened in the beginning. Everything’s still new and the points aren’t out of order yet. We’re going to go back, review everything, study, look closely at what happened, fix it, and we’ll be ready for St. Louis.”
The Aranas will race next in the second round of the Countdown to the Championship at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals Sept. 25-27 at Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis. A third Arana Racing rider is on the entry list as Adam Arana will join his father and brother in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class.