Lucas Oil Racing Denver Saturday Report

Bandimere Speedway

There's an Arana on the pole again, this time in Denver

For the third time in a row, a drag racer named Hector Arana qualified a Lucas Oil Buell on top of the Pro Stock Motorcycle class. This time, however, it was 2009 champion Hector Arana Sr.

Hector Arana Sr.
Hector Arana Sr.

Photo by: Ted Rossino

Son Hector Arana Jr. had qualified first in the last two Pro Stock Motorcycle races, but for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Brandimere Speedway, it was Arana Sr. who took the top spot.

Arana Sr., 52, earned the pole at the first Pro Stock Motorcycle race of the 2011 season in Gainesville, Fla., but has been plagued with problems since.

"At first, I didn't k now what was wrong, but I kept pursuing it and checking the engines," Arana Sr. said. "It made me look really bad, and then I had my son, and he's qualifying on the pole. Everyone's saying, 'I guess dad is getting old.' But just to show you today, dad still has it."

Arana Sr. isolated his problems this weekend, and he grabbed the No. 1 qualifier Saturday in the third qualifying session with a pass of 7.240 seconds at 185.69 mph.

Rookie Arana Jr., 22, who was No. 1 at Norwalk and Chicago, qualified fifth in Denver with a run of 7.284 at 183.57 mph.

"If another person's going to get No. 1, I guess I'll let my dad get it," Arana Jr. said.

Arana Jr. was fifth after Friday's first session, and then had to abort his second qualifying run after the transmission wouldn't shift into third gear. But Arana Jr. and his Lucas Oil Buell picked up the pace Saturday.

"Qualifying has been pretty good," Arana Jr. said. "We slowed down just a little bit on the second hit (Saturday). The first hit, it could've been a little faster, but I had to do a lot of correcting in the run. But in the heat, we made a good pass."

Arana Jr. faces David Hope in the first round Sunday as he pursues his first Pro Stock Motorcycle victory.

"I'm looking forward to going four rounds tomorrow," Arana Jr. said. "I keep saying this, but I'm looking for that Wally. Hopefully, this weekend, I'll get it. One of these weekends, it's going to come true."

Arana Sr. may get in his way, but it will take the "perfect tune-up" to win in the mile-high altitude, Arana Sr. said.

"I believe that in general we have a good tuneup," Arana Sr. said. "Tomorrow, it's who can leave the starting line. That's what we need to focus on and pay close attention to -- the 60-foot time."

Arana Sr. races Justin Finley in the first round and could square off against Hector Jr. in round two.

"If we get there, the best man will win second round," Arana Jr. said.

Lucas Oil Mustang driver Larry Morgan qualified seventh in Pro Stock after a solid run in the final qualifying session. Morgan went 7.012 seconds at 196.13 mph in Q4, finding a good balance in the setup after the first three qualifying sessions. He didn't record a time in Q1 after leaving the start line too soon, but then improved in each subsequent session.

"On the second run, we didn't have any clutch in it," Morgan said. "The third run, we put plenty of clutch in, and that didn't work so well. The last run, we found a happy medium and we ran all right. We figure there's probably three hundredths left in that run. I'm happy to get this Lucas Oil Mustang running well."

Morgan will race No. 10 qualifier Ron Krisher in the first round.

"We ran good," Morgan said. "The guys worked real hard on this thing. Everything worked out well. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, believe me."

By: lucas oil racing

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Series NHRA
Tags arana, bandimere, denver, lucas oil, morgan, nhra

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