Arana pushes lead to 135 points; Langdon drops 'chutes, race in Round 1 CHICAGO (June 6) -- Reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Hector Arana rode his Lucas Oil Buell V-Twin to a semifinal finish at the rain-plagued United Association Route 66...
Arana pushes lead to 135 points; Langdon drops 'chutes, race in Round 1
CHICAGO (June 6) -- Reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Hector Arana rode his Lucas Oil Buell V-Twin to a semifinal finish at the rain-plagued United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals to increase his lead in the Full Throttle championship points to 135 over three-time champion Andrew Hines.
Arana's teammate from the Lucas Oil stable, Shawn Langdon, seemed a certain winner in the opening round of Top Fuel until his parachutes prematurely deployed around 800 feet, which knocked off enough speed to allow lower-ranked Steve Torrence to take the win.
After posting the quickest elapsed time of the event in a Round 1 win over Karen Stoffer -- a 6.894 at 192.60 mph -- Arana took care of his closest pursuer Hines with another great pass in the quarterfinals, running a 6.905 at 193.10 mph to Hines' 6.990 at 187.78 mph.
In the semis, Arana wasted a dazzling 6.901 at 191.95 mph with a -.079 red light start, giving the win to Steve Johnson, who went 6.928 at 191.84 mph.
"The positives of the day is the bike ran great and we earned some extra points," Arana said. "I should have done better with my light in the semifinal. I left some points out there and that might come back against me later in the year.
"Thanks again to Larry Morgan, my Lucas Oil teammate and friend, for all of his help with the engines. It's the difference between where we were and where we are now."
After weeks of lagging performance, Langdon's Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster became one of the cars to beat on Sunday. But for the second straight year in Chicago a non-engine related mechanical issue bit Langdon during eliminations.
"Last year it was a throttle cable, this year it was a parachute cable," Langdon said. "It's just so unfortunate because after struggling from changing our tun-eup around we've finally started to move the right direction.
"We were on pace to run a low 3.82 (second ET)."
As it was, Langdon, who beat Torrence off the line to improve his starting line mark to 18-1 this year, ran a 3.872 at 278.63 mph. Torrence's winning time was a 3.828 at 312.93 mph.
"We had such high hopes for today," Langdon said. "We had a good shot to win. Now we've got to wait another week, but you can't hang your head about it.
"If we have this kind of car in Englishtown next weekend, they're going to have to watch out for us."
The 41st annual United Association NHRA SuperNationals run June 11-13 at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.