Arana picks up first NHRA win
Hector (The Hammer) Arana brought his long-time sponsor, Lucas Oil Products, to the winner’s circle for the first time at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in a NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle career that has spanned for 102 races dating back to 1990.
The Milltown man, who had reached his two previous Pro Stock Motorcycle finals, both in 1997, bested Treble in the final, 7.027, 187.60 to 7.061, 187.83. He denied low qualifier Eddie Krawiec the chance to run for his first title by riding his Lucas Oil Buell to a tight .007-second 7.07 to 7.07 victory over the low-qualifying Harley rider in the semifinals.
‘I have to thank Forrest and Charlotte Lucas for believing in me and believing I could do this job,’ said Arana of his longtime backers. ‘I never gave up, and my crew guys never gave up. And I’ve met a lot of wonderful people who have given me a hand over the years and never stopped trusting in me, and I’m glad I was able to do it. It’s an awesome, awesome feeling, and it hasn’t sunk in yet, but it feels great to accomplish what I’ve been working for all these years.’
Arana, who had won just two rounds of racing in the season’s first six events, also beat a pair of this year’s national event winners, Gainesville champ Matt Guidera in round one and reigning world champ and Houston titlist Matt Smith, but he first had to overcome electrical gremlins that haunted him in the last two races.
‘We figured out what’s been wrong with the bike since Englishtown, where we ended up in the sand,’ he said, ‘and yesterday I had a bucking-bronco run that almost threw me off, and I’m glad it happened in qualifying because we were able to figure out the problem, which was an electrical switch was shutting the bike down. We got it figured out and started the day off good in round one.’