So far, Junior getting the better of Senior in Lucas Oil Motorcycle pit
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 20) -- The Lucas Oil Pro Stock Motorcycle pit of past series champion Hector Arana Sr. and rookie rider Hector Arana Jr. has become a house divided through the four professional qualifying sessions at the 30th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
In one corner, Hector Sr. remains confounded by the powerplant in his Buell V-Twin. He's made the 16-bike elimination field, but he's certainly not bragging about his best run of 6.986 at 191.92 mph, which has him slotted 11th overall.
Just a few steps away it's a different story for his 22-year-old son Hector Jr., who has established himself as a bona fide contender after four great quarter-mile passes, the quickest of which was a 6.889 at 194.18 mph. He'll start race day from the lofty No. 2 position.
"My bike's running great," Hector Jr. said. "It's like a bracket bike now. We do minor adjustments, and it reacts to it. It's repeating perfectly and we've improved every run. We're just having fun now.
"I'm finally confident on the bike, really comfortable and relaxed. Before, I was always nervous when I got on the bike. Now, I want to really ride it. That's been making the biggest difference. My reaction times have gotten a lot better too.
"I'm liking this race. The Zoo (campground party) is a blast. That atmosphere also makes it more relaxing."
Not wanting to touch his ride, Hector Jr. will most likely help Dad tonight as they search to find what's wrong with his engine.
"My motor feels sluggish to me," Hector Sr. said. "It's not the same as what I'm used to. I'm seeing the (shift) light fine, I'm reacting well and I've hit my shift points every run. It's just not responding. I'm sad it's not running any quicker. There's something going on and we need to figure it out.
"We're going to go through the whole motor and see what we can find. There's got to be a reason why. We've just got to look for it. I won't be visiting the Zoo tonight. I'm going to take care of my bike first."