Seaman Adam Arana to join Hector Sr. and Hector Jr. in St. Louis
The U.S. Coast Guard primarily is not known for offensive maneuvers, but at least one of its personnel, Adam Arana, will join forces with family members with one goal in mind: Conquer the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park. Arana will return to the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series this weekend in St. Louis.
Seaman (E-3) Arana’s father Hector Sr., a former NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion, and brother Hector Jr. are contenders in the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship, and Adam has obtained a weekend pass from his superiors to compete at Gateway on one of his father’s older Lucas Oil Buells.
“I don’t have any expectations,” Adam said. “I’m heavier than I was last season, so that’s not good for racing, obviously. I haven’t been on a bike since November 2014, and I’ve barely watched any drag racing because I’ve been so busy. I’m sure I’m going to be extra nervous, but I’ve definitely learned a lot in boot camp about the mental side of things. That was a pretty tough test of your mental abilities and how your focus needs to be, so that will help.
“I am doing it for fun. I don’t have to worry about points or anything like that, and I’m just doing it to have fun and see all my friends and family again. If I can put someone out who’s ahead of my dad or my brother, that’s always a bonus, but I’m just trying to have fun.”
Hector Jr. sits fourth in Countdown points after last weekend’s opener in Charlotte. He currently holds the NHRA national speed record at 199.88 mph.
“I can’t wait to have Adam back,” Hector Jr. said. “You don’t realize how much you’re going to miss somebody until they’re gone and you’re not racing with them anymore or hanging out with them every day. It’s definitely going to be good to see him. The last time I was with Adam, I won the race in Pomona, Calif., so hopefully I can attribute another race to him.”
Hector Jr. is only 81 points behind leader Andrew Hines and is hoping for a better showing than last Sunday at the NHRA Carolina Nationals, where he and his father exited the event in the first round.
“We’re taking it one round at a time,” Hector Jr. said. “I think we’re going to be good. We’ve got good motors back there; we’ve just got to get them figured out. It’s a simple little thing that we’ve got to fix, nothing big. Once we get that dialed in, we’ll be OK. Hopefully, we can put a good one in for Adam and he can be a blocker, a big spoiler. Maybe he and I can go to the final.”
Hector Sr. owns both ends of the Pro Stock Motorcycle record at Gateway Motorsports Park, 6.769 seconds and 198.58 mph.
“I am looking forward to St. Louis because Adam is going to be there,” Hector Sr. said. “I’m definitely looking forward to spending the four days with Adam because after that who knows when I am going to see him again.”
Will Adam’s entry bring a change of luck in St. Louis?
“We need something,” Hector Sr. said. “I don’t care what it is but we do need a change. We work hard, we do well, and then something is happening to us in the Countdown. We need to stop that. We know we can do it. We know we’ve got a fast Lucas Oil bike. We need to stay within our parameters and not go too far so we don’t make mistakes.”
Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying sessions are scheduled for 2:45 and 5:15 p.m., Friday, and 1:45 and 4:15 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations are scheduled to begin at noon on Sunday.