SONOMA, Calif. (July 26) - Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. would love to stop the nine-race winning streak by Harley-Davidson riders in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class. But that's simply because halting the streak would make Arana Jr. a winner in this weekend's NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sears Point Raceway.
Arana Jr. won three times en route to winning the 2011 Auto Club Road to the Future Award as NHRA's top rookie competitor. Despite showing blazing speed this season, the 23-year-old is still looking for his first victory of 2012.
"We just want to win one and get a streak going," Arana Jr. said. "Whatever it takes to do that, we're going to do it."
And that means pushing the engines and other parts in his Lucas Oil Buell to the edge - and sometimes over. That's what happened in Denver, when a parts failure cut short his day in the semifinals after he earned No. 1 qualifier and then lowered the track elapsed-time record.
"We're pushing the motors to the limits," Arana Jr. said. "The motors aren't designed to be run this hard. When you run them as hard as we're running them, parts fail easier. We want to go fast, we want to set records, we want to win races, and that's what it's going to take, so that's what we're going to do."
Arana Jr. has qualified in the top three in all seven races in 2012, racing to the semifinals in six races and the finals twice. His No. 1 qualifier in Denver was the eight of his career - in only 23 races.
He's third in the Pro Stock Motorcycle points standings and will lock up a spot in the Countdown to the Championship - NHRA's playoffs - by qualifying for the race in Sonoma.
"I'm always confident," Arana Jr. said. "I'm riding really well, and the bike's doing well, too. As long as we don't have failures, everything should be really good."
That's how he feels about the venue this weekend.
"Sonoma's awesome. The area is really beautiful," Arana Jr. said. "Plus, after you make a run, the crew doesn't have to push you. It's all downhill on the road course on the way back to your pit. The whole facility is really cool, up and down hills. It's a real fun place."
Source: Lucas Oil