Arana Jr. makes it four No. 1s in a row for Lucas Oil
LAS VEGAS (Oct. 29) – Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. is bringing his hot streak to the right place, and he'll let it ride in Sunday's Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Arana Jr. qualified No. 1 in Pro Stock Motorcycle for the seventh time this season and fourth in a row. His pass of 6.879 seconds at 194.46 mph will put him against Matt Guidera in Round 1 of Sunday's eliminations. Guidera made a best pass of 7.067 seconds at 187.18 mph.
Plus, Arana Jr. is gunning for this third consecutive victory, which would give him four in his amazing rookie season.
"It feels good to know that I'm riding a consistent Lucas Oil Buell," Arana Jr. said. "This bike is amazing. It's proved it numerous times that it goes right down the track, and it repeats itself. It's not just a one-hit wonder, it's consistent.
"This is just a dream come true to come out here and race in NHRA. It's a tough class – any of the racing divisions over here are tough. Everybody's on top of their game, and to be good, you have to be 110 percent. We're just having fun out here."
Arana Jr. gained one point on PSM points leader Eddie Krawiec through qualifying and now is only nine points out of the lead.
"I like being the predator," Arana Jr. said. "I feel that Eddie probably feels like the prey right now because I'm coming after him. Right now I feel like a lion, getting ready to take that championship.”
Arana Jr. had to knock off his dad, Hector Arana Sr., for the No. 1 spot. Arana Sr. was the provisional No. 1 after two rounds of qualifying Friday, and he ended up qualifying third.
"He didn't make it easy," Arana Jr. said. "I had to take it from him. He didn't let me have it."
Arana Sr.'s qualifying mark was 6.896 seconds at 192.36 mph, and he'll race Shawn Gann (7.038 seconds at 189.76 mph) in Round 1. Father and son are on opposite ends of the Pro Stock Motorcycle ladder and could meet in the finals.
"May the best man win if that happens," Arana Sr. said. "My bike is running really well, and I have some confidence that we can do well tomorrow. I know Hector wants to win, but so do I. I'd like to get one of those trophies, too."
Lucas Oil Ford Mustang driver Larry Morgan has put in a solid weekend, too, qualifying No. 6 in Pro Stock for his best starting spot of the season. His previous best qualifying effort was No. 7, which he's done four times.
"I'm real happy with the way we ran," Morgan said. "We were fourth-quickest that last session, so I feel good about it. I feel good for tomorrow and I feel good for the rest of the year. We're moving forward, and that's what we’re here for."
Morgan's top pass in qualifying was 6.633 seconds at 207.69 mph, and he'll face Vincent Nobile in a rematch of the first round in Phoenix. Nobile, who won the Phoenix race, qualified No. 11 at 6.644 seconds at 207.94 mph.
Morgan's last victory in Pro Stock came in Vegas in 2009.
"We're happy for Lucas and Speedco and everyone who helps me get here," Morgan said. "Hopefully, we can do well tomorrow for everybody and all the guys at the shop who work on this thing. It takes a group effort. We need to have our act together."