Pair of Lucas Oil Pro Stock Motorcycle riders make history in Houston
HOUSTON (April 30) – The good news for Hector Arana Jr. is that he put the Lucas Oil Buell into an NHRA Full Throttle Series event for the first time.
The bad news for Hector Jr. is that when Sunday's eliminations at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Spring Nationals get under way, he'll be matched up against the Lucas Oil Buell driven his father, past NHRA world champion Hector Arana Sr.
"Of course this would happen to me," Hector Jr. said. "What can you do? May the best man win.
"I just feel so happy that I qualified. I feel so much better on the bike and it's awesome being out here racing, whoever I have to race."
Hector Jr. qualified 13th with a best lap of 6.991 seconds at 191.46 mph, while his father will be No. 4 after a 6.903 at 193.82 mph. It's the first time in the history of the Pro Stock Motorcycle class that father and son have squared off in eliminations.
"He pulled up next to me down there (at top end after final session) and said, 'You did a good job. You ran another .99,'" Hector Jr. said. "So I knew that meant I stayed 13th and that we would race each other in the first round. I said, 'Well, I guess it's on,' and we just started laughing."
Hector Sr. said he knew this day would come, but he just didn't expect it so soon.
"You know that some time you are going to have to race each other but I wouldn't have minded if it wasn't the first round of his first race," Hector Sr. said. "Oh well, I look at it now that it's good because for sure one of the Aranas on one of the Lucas Oil bikes will make it to the second round no matter what."
After the younger Arana struggled in the Pro Stock Motorcycle opener in Gainesville, the father was proud to see what the son had accomplished here in Texas.
"I'm really happy and relieved to see him make the field," Hector Sr. said. "He's getting better every run, and that's what you want to see. He looks smooth and in control, which is helping his confidence. We've worked a lot of hours on that bike, a lot of hours, and it's starting to respond. Our work is showing."
Teammate Larry Morgan put the Lucas Oil Ford Mustang in the Pro Stock field with a pass of 6.617 at 210.21 mph, which was good enough to land 11th in the elimination field.
"We don't quite have the engine speed here we'd like and the tires are a little big, but we're going to do the best we can do," Morgan said. "I'm itching to get another win.
"We destroyed a valve spring on our last run. We lost some ET on that run, but I think we're going to be good. I've just got to do my job tomorrow."
Morgan squares off against No. 6 qualifier Greg Anderson. who ran a best lap of 6.585 seconds at 209.95 mph.
Shawn Langdon and the Lucas Oil/Speedco Top Fuel team fought a touchy engine all weekend long and failed to qualify for eliminations.
Langdon had a run in the fourth and final qualifying round that was good enough to make the field, but the engine let go and sprayed fluid on the track. As per an NHRA rule enacted this season, the lap was disallowed, and the team found itself on the outside looking in.
"Nobody is more upset right now then the guys on this race team," crew chief John Stewart said. "We just got behind and seemed to be chasing it all weekend. We limped into the field in the last session but it dropped a hole (cylinder) and scored the block. We put some oil down on the track and the run was thrown out. It's not a good feeling.
"I don't know what it is about this track but I went back and looked at last year's runs and we had a tough time then as well. It's marginal at best out there and we probably dropped a hole that last run because the tires were spinning down there. The track is killer for the first 60 feet, but that's about it. No matter what, we should have gotten in and we didn't. It's as simple as that."
-source: lucas oil racing