Arana revels return to sport's first 'supertrack'
The concrete surface of Route 66 Raceway will make for high speeds, low elapsed times, and consistent runs at this weekend's 14th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals.
But Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Sr. says consistency won't matter in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class if the weather changes daily, as it is often apt to do in the Midwest this time of the year.
"I think concrete is more consistent to me," Arana said. "We play it safe with the first run, and then you can start getting more aggressive. What changes a lot has to do with the temperature. If the temperature changes a lot between Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and the weather varies a lot, it doesn't matter what tune-up we have. We've still got to treat it for the kind of weather we have now. We're still learning that, learning what it'll take for certain temperature on the track."
The 1999 world champion, Arana is a big fan of the 13-year-old track, and loves racing one state over from his home state of Indiana.
"Route 66 was one of the first state-of-the-art facilities," Arana said. "It was really impressive when we went there for the inaugural race, and it seems like a majority of the racetracks are following them and doing the same things. It's beautiful not just for the racers but for the fans. It was our first supertrack."
Arana is looking to improve his position in the points, where he is currently fifth after a semifinal appearance at the last race in Norwalk, Ohio. That was his second semifinal run of the season to go along with one No. 1 qualifier and two quarterfinal appearances.
Along the way, Arana has had to deal with a handful of minor problems that has kept him from winning. But he'd rather have issues now than when the Countdown to the Championship begins in September.
"I've had a couple little problems," Arana said. "I think I like to have those problems happen now than what it did to me last year, when everything starting going wrong after the Countdown started. I prefer to have those problems show up now, and everything will trouble-free after the Countdown so I can win the championship."
By: lucas oil racing