Buell’s Arana Jr.: Gainesville NHRA Report

NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle

This Monday’s race didn’t finish as well as the last one for Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr.

Arana Jr. won the most recent Pro Stock Motorcycle race postponed to a Monday – last October in Reading, Pa. – but in this Monday’s rain-delayed Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway in Gainesville, Arana Jr. fell in the semifinals.

Hector Arana Jr. says: "Definitely, I’m upset right now because we had to wait a whole day, and now we have to go home after just one round. I definitely felt better this morning, but it stinks to lose."

Facing Andrew Hines in the semis, Arana Jr. slowed to his worst pass of the weekend, going 7.144 seconds at 155.58 mph, aborting the run before the finish line.

Hector Arana Jr. says: "We left the line a little too aggressive. I think it spun a little, I’m not really sure. Then, I don’t know if there was a bump or what, but I double-bumped the shifter, so it went straight to fifth gear. It bogged, and I was watching him pull away, so I just pulled in the clutch because I got real mad."

Hines, who lost in the finals to teammate Eddie Krawiec, made a pass of 6.781 seconds at 197.39 mph that was faster than Arana’s best lap of the weekend. Still, Arana and crew chief Dan Gonzalez swung for the fences Monday.

Hector Arana Jr. says: "We were going for it."

The race and its outcome show how far Arana Jr. has come in a year. He failed to qualify for the Gatornationals last year in his first attempt to make a Pro Stock Motorcycle national event.

Arana rebounded to win three races, score a class-leading seven No. 1 qualifiers and finish second in the points standings. That earned him the Auto Club Road to the Future Award as NHRA’s top rookie.

Hector Arana Jr. says: "It was a better weekend this time through, for sure. It was a good first weekend, considering everything we went through. I wish I would’ve made a decent last run. I would’ve had a better chance, but, oh, well, what can we do? I guess we’ll go home and do some more homework and try to catch up."