Arana reaches semis at Gators on Lucas Oil bike
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13) – Hector Arana didn't start the season winning the 42nd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals, but what he accomplished on the Lucas Oil Buell wasn't too bad, either.
Arana set and backed up the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle national ET record during qualifying and followed that feat up by advancing to the semifinals on Sunday, leaving Gainesville Raceway second in class points.
"I'm pleased to come over here and set a national record," Arana said. "To get to the semifinals is great too."
Arana led Lucas Oil's day at the Gators. Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon was eliminated in the second round and Pro Stock's Larry Morgan lost in the opening round.
He had a strong bike all weekend, but Arana said that during Sunday's race his Buell started acting up more with every subsequent round.
"I saw that I was slowing down, little by little," Arana said. "So my bike was hurt, but she got me to the semifinals so I can't complain. We have been doing great so what more can I ask for?"
Arana beat Joe Desantis in the first round with a pass of 6.854 seconds at 191.19 mph, then followed it up with a 6.857 at 193.27 in the second round. In the semis against Karen Stoffer, Arana's bike slowed significantly and crossed the line in 6.926 at 193.65 to Stoffer's 6.841 at 196.39 mph.
"We have some time off so we can check everything, make sure everything is alright and working well," Arana said.
Langdon advanced into the second round in the Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster with a win over Clay Millican. Langdon ran a 3.871 at 312.93 with Millican trailing behind with a 3.940 at 296.89 mph.
Spencer Massey was Langdon's second round opponent and Massey ended up taking the win over with a 3.862 at 314.02 mph. Langdon crossed the finish line in 3.904 at 311.99 mph.
"We made two decent runs but sometimes you just run into someone that does just a little bit better than you do," Langdon said. "Today we made a good run but we just didn't have an extremely fast car. We had a car that got down the track. It's still early in the season so it's not crucial right now. We just need to start learning how we can make this car a little quicker and faster down the track.
"We just tried to make a good run and it just wasn't fast enough. You don't want to go out there and beat yourself."
Morgan and the Lucas Oil Ford Mustang fell to eventual Pro Stock runner-up Greg Anderson. Morgan had a run of 6.571 at 211.00 mph against Anderson who crossed the line in 6.541 at 211.69 mph.
"We blew the tires off again", Morgan said. "For some reason it tried to make a move every run we've made. It definitely boiled down to lane choice.
"We'll be all right, we just have to get all these little things out of our system. It feels like a fresh start though and we will be fine."
Langdon and Morgan will next race at the Summitracing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas April 1-3. Arana will not race again until the Houston event in late April.
-source: lucas oil racing