Hector Arana Jr. to join his father in Pro Stock Motorcycle ranks
INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 30) -- Hector Arana Jr. will ride an identical Lucas Oil Buell on the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series alongside his championship-winning father Hector Arana Sr.
The 21-year-old from Milltown, Tenn., should be a contender from the season-opening 42nd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals in mid-March as he'll take over the same motorcycle his father rode to numerous victories and the 2009 title.
"I'm excited to ride this bike," Arana Jr. "I already know what it can do so I'm really pumped up. This bike knows the way to the winner's circle."
The Aranas will field a two-bike team for Lucas Oil and Arana Jr. couldn't be happier to work with his dad and represent the Lucas family and Lucas Oil Products.
"It's very cool to be flying Lucas Oil colors," Arana Jr. said. "Forrest Lucas was actually the one that came to us and said he wanted a two-bike team and he got the ball rolling on adding me to the team. It's very humbling and I can't thank the Lucas family enough."
Being the son of a professional Pro Stock Motorcycle rider, Arana Jr. has grown up around the track and has known for quite awhile that riding a bike himself was something he wanted to do. Up until now he's served as a mechanic on his father's bike.
"I've always wanted to race; it's all I know," Arana Jr. said. "I'm ready to go out and run the full season. I'm ready to run for the Auto Club Rookie of the Year award too."
When Arana Jr. first got on his dad's Buell, he was very excited, although his father seemed less than comfortable with the move.
"My dad was so nervous during my first test pass," Arana Jr. said. "For me, getting on the bike the first time was indescribable. It was way more powerful than I expected but at the same time everything was a lot slower in my head. I think I had imagined making passes so many times in my head that when I finally did it seemed like I already had done it before. It's like a giant slingshot; just a smooth and a consistent pull."
Arana Jr. recently attended George Bryce's Pro Stock Motorcycle class at Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School in Gainesville, Fla., to earn his license. He even got a bonus day of instruction thanks to Mother Nature.
"It was so cold in Gainesville that the two-day school turned into a three-day school because we couldn't run the first two days," Arana Jr. said. "It was great though. I really enjoyed the whole course."
Once they were turned loose on the track, Arana earned his license in one day.
"Both George Bryce and Frank Hawley were present on the third day and were able to sign for my license so I'm just about ready to go racing," he said.
Although Arana Jr. earned his license, he's preparing to make many more passes before entering his first race in March.
"We're going to go testing in West Palm Beach as much as we can," Arana Jr. said, "that way I can get a lot of seat time before Gainesville so I can be totally ready to race."
-source: lucas oil racing