CHICAGO (July 1) – After two days of qualifying at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Hector Arana Sr.'s Lucas Oil Buell looked like it could do no wrong on the way to Pro Stock Motorcycle's No. 1 qualifying spot.
We go into eliminations, and all kinds of things start going wrong.
On race day, the bike developed a miss in the engine that, while still carrying Arana to a semifinal finish, was a perplexing problem for Arana to tackle.
"The first run today, it shot to the right and I had to fight that," Arana said. "It was even missing in the burnout. We make some changes second round, same thing.
"For the semifinals, I changed just about everything: spark plugs, wires, injector, cam sensor – everything we could think of that could make the bike start malfunction in eliminations."
In the semifinals against LE Tonglet, Arana never got the bike settled after staging and he left .096 seconds too early, handing the win to Tonglet right there at the starting line.
On the way to the semifinals, Arana made quick work of Michael Phillips in the first round with a pass of 7.005 seconds at 189.79 mph. Phillips ran a 7.099 at 188.91 mph.
In the second round, Arana was paired against Karen Stoffer. She got off the line first, but fought her bike all the way down the track. That gave Arana enough room to run a 6.955 second pass at 191.87 mph to cross the finish line first. Stoffer ran a 7.092 at 189.39 mph.
"We'll find the problems," Arana said. "It's a little disappointing. I didn’t have to change anything during qualifying.
Source: Lucas Oil Racing