Gainesville: Pro Stock Bike preview

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE CATEGORY MAKES 2010 NHRA FULL THROTTLE SERIES DEBUT AT TIRE KINGDOM NHRA GATORNATIONALS GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The high-revving excitement of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle competition will make its 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag ...

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE CATEGORY MAKES 2010 NHRA FULL THROTTLE SERIES DEBUT AT TIRE KINGDOM NHRA GATORNATIONALS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The high-revving excitement of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle competition will make its 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series debut at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals when qualifying opens for the two-wheel category on Friday, March 12 at historic Gainesville Raceway.

The Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals, the third of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and first of 17 for the Pro Stock Motorcycle category, will be held March 11-14 at historic Gainesville Raceway. Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Bob Tasca (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are the defending winners of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event, which will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD.

Defending world champ and event champ Arana, who had a dream season in 2009, will try to continue his recent string of success on his Lucas Oil Buell.

"Now I'm the one all the others will try to beat," Arana said. "I have to be even better than before, and I want to be because I hear sometimes that people say I got lucky. I won five races. I had the No. 1 qualifier eight times. I set the record. That's more than luck. It's okay because it just gives me more reasons to race hard again this year.

"We didn't change anything on the bike. (Lucas Oil teammate) Larry Morgan helped us so much last year with our engine program and we had a new oil from Lucas Oil that made a big difference. We didn't feel like we had to do too much. Plus, we were going all over the place with the bike for shows and autograph things."

The 20-year veteran rider says winning the season-opener is a big momentum booster and was key in getting his hunt for the championship last year off to a strong start.

"It's good to win the first one because it sets up the whole year," Arana said. "I beat (past champions) Eddie Krawiec and Matt Smith too, so it was a tough race. Everyone goes to Gainesville looking to see how they measure against the others. You find out real quick what happened in the off-season."

Arana's 2010 competition will be stout and include past champs Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines of the Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team and Matt Smith, who returns to compete on his own bike, the Al-Anabi Racing Buell.

Others to watch in the two-wheel category include last year's rookie phenom Doug Horne, GEICO Powersports Suzuki rider Karen Stoffer, Team Scream's Craig Treble, two-time U.S. Nationals winner Steve Johnson, Coffman Tank Trucks Buell rider Angie Smith and David Hope, who will be riding the Mohegan Sun Racing Buell.

* SCHEDULE: Full Throttle Series qualifying sessions are scheduled for noon and 2:45 p.m. on March 12 and March 13. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 14.

* TICKETS: Tickets are available for the 41st annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals. Call NHRA at (800) 884-NHRA or visit www.ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets.

* ON TV: ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 2 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, March 14; that show also will re-air later the same day at 10 a.m. (ET). ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute pre-race show, at noon (ET) on Sunday, March 14. ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three hours of eliminations coverage beginning at 6 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, March 14.

* LUCAS OIL SERIES: The 41st annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals also will feature competition in seven categories in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series, where the future stars of the NHRA Full Throttle Series earn their racing stripes. Lucas Oil Series qualifying begins at 7:30 a.m. on March 11. Lucas Oil Series eliminations begin at 7:30 a.m. on March 12.

* GET SCREENED AMERICA PRO MOD SERIES: NHRA's newest touring series will make its debut at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals. The series will feature some of the world's fastest and most unique doorslammer cars, featuring an ecclectic mix of vintage and late model body styles, in quarter-mile competition.

-source: nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Larry Morgan , Craig Treble , Karen Stoffer , Jason Line , Andrew Hines , Matthew Smith , Eddie Krawiec , Angie Smith , David Hope