Arana once again leaning on Lucas Oil teammate Morgan for help READING, Pa. (Oct. 6) -- After having some problems with his Lucas Oil Buell the last few races, defending Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Hector Arana is going back to a partnership...
Arana once again leaning on Lucas Oil teammate Morgan for help
READING, Pa. (Oct. 6) -- After having some problems with his Lucas Oil Buell the last few races, defending Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Hector Arana is going back to a partnership that worked for him a year ago.
On his way to this weekend's 26th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, Arana made a side trip to the race shop of Pro Stock driver and Lucas Oil teammate Larry Morgan to have Morgan's crew give his bike's misbehaving engine a thorough shakedown before racing this weekend.
"We've been plagued with something and I can't put my finger on it," Arana said. "That's the hard part; I can't point to one particular reason. We've gone over everything.
"So I called Larry and asked if he would mind if I stopped by to have his guys check it out. He said no problem, I'm here at his shop right now, and so far everything is looking good."
Arana gave Morgan and his crew a lot of credit for pushing him to the championship a season ago. Arana's struggles since the start of this season's Countdown to 1 have put him in a hole with just three races left in the season.
He's currently in seventh place in the standings, 240 points behind leader Andrew Hines. However, Arana is just three rounds out of third.
No matter what, the Puerto Rican native is going to need a lot of help to repeat as champion, but conditions at Reading are expected to be ideal and the possibility of the national record falling (and the bonus points that accompany a record) could be just the boost Arana needs to get back in the hunt.
"It's going to be gorgeous on Friday and better on Saturday," Arana said. "We want to be ready here because it's going to be the fastest conditions we'll see all year.
"It's not going to be like one of those races where Friday night is going to be your best shot at putting up a good number and if you miss that you miss your chance. I think every qualifying round will be good."
It was during this time of year in 2009 at Memphis that Arana broke the national record and earned crucial bonus points toward his championship push.
This weekend Arana said he would settle for a consistent bike and a deep run on Sunday.
"We've looked over the engine carefully," Arana said. "I know when we put the new ECU in at Texas before the last qualifying run the bike acted different. It felt like it had more power leaving the starting line. Maybe that was what it needed. Hopefully we'll know for sure before we leave Larry's shop and head to Reading."
-source: lucas oil racing