JOLIET, Ill. (June 27) – Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. sits third in the Pro Stock Motorcycle points standings heading into this weekend's O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.
But he's No. 1 in an important statistical category: Average reaction time. Arana leads the Pro Stock Motorcycle class with an .029-second average light during eliminations, something he views as a great source of pride.
I'm cutting the lights, my shift points are right on, and I've been making straight passes.
"I want to keep that up," Arana said, "and I want to try to lower my average."
Arana, in his second year riding the Lucas Oil Buell, is proud of his reaction times, knowing they are a product of hard work on his practice Christmas Tree.
"It's real cool. It's a good confidence booster," Arana said. "I know my reaction times have been pretty good, but I didn't realize they were that good. It's an average of all laps since Gainesville, an .029 light, and that was No. 1 for the class. That's pretty fun to see that."
Arana has qualified second twice and third twice in the four races of 2012, reaching the final round once and the semifinals two times. He has a fast motorcycle, and he's been fast on the Tree, too.
"It shows that I'm not just doing well because I'm on a fast bike," Arana said. "But I'm also cutting lights to win rounds, too. I don't want people to think, 'He's only doing well because he's on a fast bike.' I want them to know I can ride this thing. I'm cutting the lights, my shift points are right on, and I've been making straight passes. I'm trying to prove to myself that I deserve to be out there."
Arana will make his 21st career start in Pro Stock Motorcycle this weekend, meaning that he still learns every time down the track.
"Every lap, it gets easier," Arana said. "You see more, you feel more relaxed, you take more in, you can give a better report back to the crew as to what you felt. Everything gets better and smoother."
One reaction time in particular from earlier this year, an excellent .026 light, gets under Arana's skin. That came in the finals against Andrew Hines, who cut a perfect. 000 light to beat him.
"Every time I think about Houston, I get burned up that I got beat on a holeshot," Arana said. "I cut a .026 light, and it wasn't good enough. It burns me up, and I want to make sure that never happens again."
Source: Lucas Oil Racing He'll get that chance this weekend in Chicago, where a year ago he secure his second of a class-leading seven No. 1 qualifiers before falling in the second round. Arana is clearly anxious to get back on track.
"I am ready to get back on the road," Arana said. "I hate sitting around. It's boring, especially when you're watching the races on TV – and you're not there."
Source: Lucas Oil Racing