Hard-working Arana Sr. aims for another world title on Lucas Oil Buell

Hector Arana
Hector Arana

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

CHARLOTTE - Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Sr. finished fourth in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series regular season for Pro Stock Motorcycle, but he's hardly satisfied.

The 2009 Pro Stock Motorcycle champion wants more, much more, when the Countdown to the Championship begin this weekend with the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals.

"We're going to regroup," Arana Sr. said. "We have to find that something extra, bottom line. We have to find something. Otherwise, we'll probably going to finish third and fourth, and that's not my goal, that's not the goal I have for (son) Hector either."

The week after the 58th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus at Lucas Oil Raceway was a bit of a scramble for Arana Sr.'s team, as he suffered an engine failure in Sunday's final round. But Arana Sr. had worked to prepare his team in weeks prior to the U.S. Nationals to be prepared for the six-race grind of the Countdown that starts with four races in four consecutive weekends, so he had extra engines ready to go.

"Let's see what happens," Arana Sr. said. "Who knows? By the motor breaking in Indy, it could make things better."

Arana Sr. rides an impressive qualifying streak into Charlotte, as he's qualified fourth or better in 16 consecutive races, the equivalent of a full season in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Plus, he's won at least two rounds in six of the last eight races, including his final-round appearance at Indy.

Does he consider himself a championship contender?

"Oh, definitely, especially with how I drove at Indy," Arana Sr. said. "I kept improving, the bike responded to the changes we made, so we're still learning with that. Overall, I think I am a contender. I've done it before, I've been there. I can do it again."

No one in the class will work harder or longer than Arana Sr.

"I'm not giving up," Arana Sr. said. "I'm going to do the best, all the way to the end."

Source: Lucas Oil Racing