Arana Sr. brings new engine to Charlotte II

Lucas Oil Racing press relesase

Lucas Oil rider Arana Sr. says 'Run Forrest, Run'

Hector Arana Sr.
Hector Arana Sr.

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

CHARLOTTE (Sept. 12) – Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Sr. posed for pictures in victory lane at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in the last NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle race.

But the time for celebrating his son Hector Arana Jr.'s first victory is over. Now it's time for dad to win again.

"We don't have time to celebrate any more," Arana Sr. said of preparations for this weekend's O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals in Concord, N.C. "We need to get busy and find out what's going on and get the backup motor ready in case something happens to the main one. We need to stay winning."

Arana Sr. had an eventful race in Indianapolis, qualifying seventh and reaching the second round. But Arana Sr. also had another engine problem that has been his team's bugaboo this year. His primary engine, named "Charlotte," was damaged in Indianapolis, and Arana Sr. had to go to the backup, "Forrest." The engines are named after Lucas Oil sponsors Forrest and Charlotte Lucas.

"He was running handicapped," Arana Sr. said of Forrest. "The first pass out, we ran a .95, so it's there. Now, we've got to finesse it, get the clutch combination, and you'll see what Forrest can do."

The engine gremlins have affected Arana Sr.'s riding, too. The 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing champion in Pro Stock Motorcycle admitted the engine issues got in his head in Brainerd, Minn., two races ago.

"I went to Brainerd, and I couldn't ride," Arana Sr. said. "I couldn't ride because I was so afraid of hurting another motor. If I hurt another one, I'm thinking, 'How am I going to get to the U.S. Nationals?' I had a conversation with a fellow racer, and he said, 'You know what? There's nothing you can do. Sometimes they just let go. You've got to forget about it and ride the other one just as hard.'"

He did that in Indy, running two passes with Charlotte and making it down the track fine.

"We started leaning on it, and it gave up again," Arana Sr. said.

But Arana Sr. isn't getting discouraged. He and the Lucas Oil team poured over the engines since Indy and will be ready for whatever happens this weekend.

"We've got to stay focused on what we want to accomplish," Arana Sr. said. "We'll be OK."

And who knows? Maybe he and his son will be celebrating again in Charlotte.

"I don't even want to think about that one," Arana Sr. said with a smile. "If it happens, that's great."

The fourth annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals begin with two rounds of qualifying at 4 and 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Hector Arana Jr. , Hector Arana Sr.
Tags arana, buell, charlotte, lucas