Lucas Oil Racing press release
Arana Jr. has lofty hopes for NHRA's stretch run
READING, Pa. (Sept. 29) –Four races ago, Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. was simply hoping to make it into the Countdown to the Championship.
Now, after his first Pro Stock Motorcycle victory and two more final-round appearances, Arana Jr. has higher goals: The 2011 championship and the Auto Club Road to the Future Award as NHRA's top rookie.
Arana Jr. has climbed all the way to third in the PSM points standings and is within 90 points of the lead with four races remaining, including this weekend's Auto-Select NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
But Arana Jr. doesn't concern himself with points during a race weekend, preferring to focus on getting his Lucas Oil Buell down the race track.
"When I'm at the race track, all I'm thinking about is the next round," Arana Jr. said. "I just want to win the race."
That singular focus as helped the 22-year-old become one of the top threats in the class. In addition to his recent streak, he also has four No. 1 qualifiers in 2011, all with the engine "Gracie," named after his mom, Grace.
Arana Jr. said he won't race any different now that he's in the hunt for the championship.
"After I leave a race, I'll go and look at the points just to see where we're at," Arana Jr. said. "But other than that, I don't look at that stuff. I know if I worry about that, it'll hurt us."
What he's focused on this weekend is trying to set a national record, which would add to his points total.
"Reading, we're looking to set some records there," Arana Jr. said. "Hopefully, the air will be good. It should be nice and cool, instead of miserably hot like it was in Dallas. I'd love it if it were nice and we were able to set some records there."