Sonoma: Lucas Oil Racing Saturday report

Arana qualifies No. 1 in Pro Stock Motorcycle SONOMA, Calif. (July 18) -- Defending NHRA Full Throttle Series Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Hector Arana led the Lucas Oil charge on Saturday at the Fram-Autolite Nationals by vaulting to the No. 1...

Arana qualifies No. 1 in Pro Stock Motorcycle

SONOMA, Calif. (July 18) -- Defending NHRA Full Throttle Series Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Hector Arana led the Lucas Oil charge on Saturday at the Fram-Autolite Nationals by vaulting to the No. 1 qualifying spot for the race.

"I was struggling leaving the starting line Friday," Arana said. "I knew if I could leave well I could qualify better than where I was, the No. 6 spot. The bike left good (Saturday morning) and I knew I was on a good run."

Other Lucas Oil team members also qualified for Sunday's race with Shawn Langdon in the No. 12 spot in Top Fuel and Larry Morgan 14th in Pro Stock.

Arana said he missed the tune-up on the Lucas Oil Buell during Friday night's qualifying. He more than made up for it in the cool temperatures on Saturday morning, but Arana said it didn't feel like a winning run.

"It was so smooth, at the top end it didn't feel like it was a 6.87 (seconds)," Arana said. "It was like the run was in slow-motion."

Arana set a track ET record with a 6.876 second pass at 192.69 mph. He faces No. 16 qualifier Mike Berry, who had a best lap of 7.079 at 180.52 mph.

Langdon's best run of the weekend in the Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster was a 3.987 second lap at 288.64 mph and he faces Doug Kalitta in the opening round of eliminations. Kalitta ran a 3.899 at 309.49 mph.

"Our good run we were trying to go for got cancelled due to curfew (on Friday night)," Langdon said. "We've been conservative the last couple races to see what it can hold. We got caught up with the hot race track. Our early numbers are comparable with the guys that are running low ETs. We got the first half of the track figured out, just have to figure out the second half tomorrow.

"We got Kalitta first round. It'll be a good race, we gotta make a good run. He has lane choice, kind of at his mercy with that but at least we're going to make a good race out of it."

Morgan's best lap in the Lucas Oil Ford Mustang was a 6.607 second pass at 208.52 mph. He will go up against Jeg Coughlin Jr., who ran a 6.552 second lap at 210.64 mph, in the opening round.

"We're just happy to be qualified," Morgan said. "With the way the air was yesterday, the weather changed 1,400 feet (of elevation). In our cars, that's almost unheard of trying to make a change like that in the staging lanes.

"I crashed three times last night, just didn't hit anything. We're pretty happy because we're getting better every run. We've only got eight runs on this car and it's doing things we're not ready for."

-source: lucas oil racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Doug Kalitta , Larry Morgan , Mike Berry , Shawn Langdon