Arana Jr. feels poised to capture first victory of the season at Las Vegas

Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. hopes to parlay a No. 2 into a No. 1 at the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Hector Arana Jr.
Hector Arana Jr.

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

Arana Jr. qualified second in Pro Stock Motorcycle with a lap of 6.912 seconds at 194.41 mph to extend his streak of qualifying fourth or better to 20 consecutive races. That matches the streak of his dad, Hector Arana Sr., as the longest in the class.

But Arana Jr. is looking to hoist the trophy as the race winner on Sunday.

"I always go into Sunday believing that I have a shot to win the race," Arana Jr. said. "If I didn't believe I have a shot at winning the race, why am I racing? I always go up there confident I can win. I'll do my best as far as riding the bike and try to make the best tuneup calls that we can. Hopefully, they don't turn it up too much against me, and maybe I can surprise them and get a win."

Not only has Arana Jr.'s bike been fast this weekend, but it's been consistent. He was second-fastest in three of the four qualifying sessions and was third in Q4. He'll square off against Redell Harris in the first round of Sunday's eliminations after Harris qualified No. 15 with a best pass of 7.068 seconds at 189.23 mph.

"It's been really consistent, and that's been good," Arana Jr. said. "It's running pretty good, considering the conditions out here. We'll see what happens on Sunday."

But before turning his attention to Sunday, Arana Jr. and his team had some fun during the final qualifying session on Saturday. In what has become tradition in Vegas, many Pro Stock Motorcycle crew members came to Q4 in Halloween costumes. Arana Jr. was accompanied to the staging lanes by crewman Juan Mata, who was dressed as a Playboy bunny.

"The most important thing in coming out here and running is having fun, and that's what we did," Arana Jr. said. "We had fun and put a show on for the crowd. Hopefully, everybody loved it. It was fun."

Source: Lucas Oil Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Article type Qualifying report
Tags arana, buell, las vegas, lucas oil