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Lucas Oil rider Hector Arana Jr. anxious to do well at Lucas Oil Southern Nationals

Lucas Oil rider Hector Arana Jr. anxious to do well at Lucas Oil Southern Nationals

To say Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Hector Arana Jr. is anxious to have a good race weekend would be a colossal understatement. That point will be magnified even further this particular weekend as his longtime sponsor Lucas Oil recently signed on to support the race, the 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals.

“I’ve never raced with anything but Lucas Oil on the side of my bike so this race has become huge for us,” said Arana Jr., who carries the Lucas Oil Racing TV brand on his Buell V-Twin. “I want to win every race, but certainly when Forrest and Charlotte Lucas (company founders) put their name on something, you want it even more.

“We haven’t shown what we’re capable of the first two races but we’re ready. I’m excited to get to Atlanta because I love racing, that’s why I’m out here. In fact, that’s why we are out here as a team, so I’m ready to go.”

Arana Jr. races alongside his father Hector Sr., the 2009 world champion. This year, the Aranas have added two-time Pro Stock champion and 25-time national event winner Jim Yates to their crew to help make tuning calls.

“We’re in a good rhythm now,” Arana Jr. said. “Atlanta is a good track and can be very fast. We have to see what the weather does. It looks like we’ll be dodging rain here and there, but the cooler temperatures rain usually brings makes the bikes go faster so we’ll be fine.

“I had a transmission issue last weekend in Charlotte so we pulled the whole thing out and completely rebuilt it. Everything else was freshened up also. There is no reason why we can’t qualify both bikes in the top half of the field, like we did last weekend, and go out there and compete for the trophy on Sunday.”

Due to forecasted rain, Friday’s two qualifying sessions have been moved to earlier in the day. Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying sessions are now scheduled for 2:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m., Friday, and 1:15 and 3:45 p.m., Saturday, with eliminations starting at 12 p.m., Sunday. Television coverage on FOX Sports 1 begins with qualifying show at 8 p.m., Friday, followed by elimination action at 6 p.m., Sunday. (All times listed in EDT).

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