Atlanta: Hector Arana preview

Reigning champ Arana to be honored prior to Southern Nationals ATLANTA (May 11) -- There are little perks to being an Full Throttle NHRA world champion that reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle king Hector Arana is just figuring out. Some benefits...

Reigning champ Arana to be honored prior to Southern Nationals

ATLANTA (May 11) -- There are little perks to being an Full Throttle NHRA world champion that reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle king Hector Arana is just figuring out.

Some benefits are more obvious than others. Arana has proudly displays the No. 1 plate on his Lucas Oil Buell, and has adjusted to answering when people call him "Champ."

On May 13, Arana gets to enjoy another of the spoils of victory -- the annual Coca-Cola Night of Champions. The exclusive, invitation-only event, thrown by the parent company of series sponsor Full Throttle Energy Drink, honors the reigning NHRA champions with a gala event at Coca-Cola's headquarters in Atlanta the night before the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals begin at Atlanta Dragway.

"It's an honor to be invited," Arana said. "It's great for Coca-Cola to honor the champions. It's nice. It's going to be a good time. I didn't know they did this for the champions until they invited me.

"I'm going to have to keep working hard so I can win another one."

Arana is off to a good start so far in defending his title. After four events, he leads the series standings by 48 points over second-place Ed Krawiec, who will also attend the Night of Champions events thanks to his 2008 crown.

The weather so far this year has thrown all kinds of conditions Arana's way, so he said he's prepared for anything.

"I don't know what to expect any more," Arana said. "Whenever you think you have it all figured out, things change.

"We're going over everything again on the bike and we'll have it ready for Atlanta. It can be hot there, or it can be overcast and cooler. We've seen everything over there. We'll see what happens this time and do our best to adjust."

-source: lor

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Series NHRA