Las Vegas II: Hector Arana Friday report

Arana aces first day qualifying in Las Vegas LAS VEGAS (Oct. 29) -- Reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Hector Arana earned the provisional pole position during the opening day of the 10th annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals. Arana has been ...

Arana aces first day qualifying in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 29) -- Reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Hector Arana earned the provisional pole position during the opening day of the 10th annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals. Arana has been struggling recently and was happy to be back at the top of the qualifying ladder.

"We struggled with the performance of the bike lately but we think we figured it out," Arana said. "That was an awesome run."

Arana drove his Lucas Oil Buell to the top of the pack with a 6.929 at 192.30 mph during the first qualifying round at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Arana credits his improvement to superstition and a recent addition to his Buell.

"All those motorcycle guys use a gremlin bell, especially the Harleys," Arana said. "One was given to me in Dallas and of course I didn't use it in the first couple runs but then I figured, 'What do I have to lose?' So I put this little bell on the chassis and we started turning things around."

The legend of the gremlin bell is that it wards off gremlins and evil road spirits. Arana knows that can't be the only reason they've improved but he's going to take the improvement in stride, especially considering he was just about to change the only thing he hasn't changed yet -- the rider.

"Of course we have had to replace a lot of things for this improvement," Arana said, "but at one point I told my son that this is it, we've changed just about everything so if this last thing doesn't work, then there's only one thing to change, and that's the driver. He was happy because he wants to take over my bike, but we managed to make a good run so he'll have to wait a little longer."

After losing the data from the pole-setting run, Arana ran 7.013 at 186.59 mph during the second qualifying session. The team is hoping to hold onto the No. 1 position and improve their qualifying time during Saturday's final two qualifying sessions.

"Hopefully we can download the run from the second session, see what happened, and improve tomorrow," Arana said.

-source: lucas oil racing

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