Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. has avoided the sophomore slump in 2012 Pro Stock Motorcycle season, earning three poles and qualifying fourth or better in all 15 races.
"I have mixed emotions about it," Arana Jr. said. "I love racing and the Finals means we're going to be off for three months. Unless we go testing that's a long time to go without getting to ride the bike. That's kind of sad and I'll miss it."
Arana Jr. won the Auto Club Road to the Future Award as NHRA's top rookie in 2011 and has followed that up with a solid season. But he'd love to get a victory before 2012 comes to a close.
"I'm definitely looking forward to this last race," Arana Jr. said. "I want to go out with a big bang. I want to win it and leave at the end of the year with a statement that we're coming for it next year and will be a force to be reckoned with."
NHRA has announced rules changes for the Pro Stock Motorcycle class for 2013 designed to level the playing field for all competitors. Plus, the Lucas Oil team will add Adam Arana, Hector Jr.'s younger brother, to form a three-bike team in 2013.
"I'm definitely really excited to see how everything's going to work out with the rules changes for next year," Arana Jr. said. "We're going to work really hard and hopefully do some testing and try to squeeze everything out of what we have.
"We're also going to get my brother up to speed and hopefully there will be three Aranas who you will always be hearing of. Our goal is to get my brother the rookie of the year and one of us three the championship. Of course, I want it to be me out of us three."
But first there is one more race in 2012. Arana Jr. extended his streak of qualifying fourth or better to 20 races in a row in Las Vegas before bowing out in the second round. But his bike gradually slowed throughout the weekend and needed work before the season-finale.
"We pulled the oil pan to see if there was an issue with the crank because that's what's been the problem," Arana Jr. said. "We worked on some other things as well. I think we're good to go."
Lucas Oil Racing