Defending Reading champion Arana Jr. ready to defend his title

READING, Pa. (Oct. 4) - Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. has fond memories of the 2011 Pro Stock Motorcycle race at Maple Grove Raceway, despite the event being postponed to Monday by rain.

Hector Arana Jr.
Hector Arana Jr.

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

That's because Arana Jr. won the race here last year, the second of three Pro Stock Motorcycle victories for the eventual Auto Club Rookie of the Year.

"It's always cool to be a defending champion anywhere," Arana Jr. said as he heads into this weekend's 28th annual Uni-Select Auto Plus NHRA Nationals. "Hopefully, I can use that as an extra confidence booster, take it and run with it."

He also holds the Maple Grove elapsed-time track record, 6.781 seconds, set in the final against Matt Smith.

"I love setting records," Arana Jr. said. "Either track-record ET or mile-an-hour, anything you could break in a record and be the fastest in that area is always a big accomplishment and something I look forward to doing."

Arana Jr. took out Bailey Whitaker, Chip Ellis, Andrew Hines and Smith en route to winning last year.

"That weekend was just really long and drawn out," Arana Jr. said. "I made it past first round, and then it rained and rained and rained, and we had to go into Monday. I was like, 'Man, everybody's leaving, and we're still here because we made it past first round. Now I've got to win this thing. We're here an extra day and waiting, and it would stink to go out the next round.'"

But he never stopped winning rounds.

"I won that next round on Monday, and it started raining again. Then I was like, 'Now, I've really got to win this thing.' We kept figuring out more and more what the bike wanted, and it kept getting faster and faster. It was nice and cool, and the track was really fast. It was the fastest I've ever been. It was really fun."

Arana Jr., who is third in the points standings with three Countdown to the Championship races remaining in 2012, is ready to do it again.

"I feel good. I always feel like I have a chance to win," Arana Jr. said. "We haven't won yet this year, but it's not over yet, and I'm not going to give up."

Source: Lucas Oil Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Andrew Hines , Matthew Smith , Chip Ellis , Hector Arana Jr. , Bailey Whitaker
Article type Preview
Tags arana, buell, maple grove, motorcycle, pro stock, psm