Both Lucas Oil bikes out early in Charlotte
Both Lucas Oil bikes out early in Charlotte, riders Hector Arana Sr. and Hector Jr. eye Atlanta
After qualifying both of their Lucas Oil-backed Buells in the top half of the elimination ladder of the eighth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Hector Arana Sr. and his son Hector Jr. were hoping for a long Sunday at the drag strip. But that was quickly dashed in the opening session when both men failed to advance.
“We just have to throw this race out the window and start over,” Arana Jr said. “This is an oddball race anyway so you really can’t let it get you down.
“I’m still a little bummed because I really wanted to go rounds today and do well for everyone that supports us. I’m frustrated I haven’t gone rounds in the first two races of the season because we should be. We’ve got a bike capable of winning rounds.”
Arana Jr.’s Sunday run looked fine until he was down-track. That’s when he had trouble getting into high gear, an issue that also surfaced in qualifying. This time it slowed him to an 8.210 at 113.57 mph.
“This transmission is going to have to come out and be rebuilt,” Arana Jr. said. “That’s two times within three runs that the bike didn’t shift going down the track. It’s just really disappointing. Another disappointing thing was I saw my (.134-second) reaction time and I honestly didn’t think I was that late off the line. I’ll definitely redeem myself next weekend in Atlanta.”
Hector Sr. did have a good light — .037 seconds — but his bike didn’t immediately respond on the launch pad and he could only watch as the other bikes pulled away. His resigned 7.271 at 195.34 mph was off the pace.
“We had a little hiccup there,” Arana Sr. said. “The engine kinda bogged when I let the clutch out, just for a second, and then it took off. That was all it took. It feels bad, it hurts but we just gotta go on to the next one, forget about this one. We always learn from the mistakes and hopefully, we don’t have to repeat those at the next race.”
Arana Racing will look to impress their title sponsor next weekend at the 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Ga.