He's a team owner, father, crew chief, rider and teammate. But Arana Sr. also has another role that may go unnoticed in the world of Pro Stock Motorcycles: Engine builder.
A Master Technician on automobiles for 27 years, Arana Sr. builds the Buells for his bike, and also for his son Hector Arana Jr.
Arana's engines have powered him to fourth in the points standings heading into this weekend's AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex, with son Hector Jr. third.
"The satisfaction is working on them, putting it all together and then running it - and it runs great," Arana Sr. said. "When everything falls in place, I am ready to keep working around the clock if I have to."
Arana Sr. works in partnership with Lucas Oil teammate Larry Morgan, a talented engine builder in his own right. While Larry Morgan Racing fine tunes the cylinder heads on the Arana bikes, Arana Sr. works on the rest of the engine.
"He's been the best partner I ever had," Arana Sr. said. "He's been helping us from day one. He said, 'Send me the head and let me look at it and see what I can do.' He's done wonders."
In the competitive world of Pro Stock Motorcycles, simply buying an engine wouldn't do for Arana Sr. He's as hands-on as a competitor can get, but there is also a cost savings from building your own engines.
"That's the only way we can afford to stay in this sport and race," Arana Sr. said. "I'm a mechanic by trade, and I can do a little bit of machining work. There's no way we can pay someone to do all this and still afford to go racing."
Arana Sr., who has been racing Buells since 2007, has taken to putting names on each of his engines. The one currently installed in his bike is named "Forrest" after Lucas Oil founder Forrest Lucas. That engine performed well in Charlotte, despite being a different version from previous Arana engines.
"Once we get to Dallas, we'll evaluate and see if it's still good and we can keep it in service," Arana Sr. said.
Arana Sr. is only 76 points out of the lead with five Countdown to the Championship races, and that's fewer than four rounds. Plus, with points available from each qualifying round, each pass is critical.
"Every run counts, and every little point matters," Arana Sr. said. "We've got to be sharp and minimize the mistakes. We need to keep going over the whole bike, and we have any issue with any parts, we have to replace them. Every run right now counts."
Source: Lucas Oil Racing