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Mar 17, 2013 - 05:22 PM
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2013 NHRA: Aranas Well Represented In Gatornationals Pro Stock Motorcycle Field
Posted by: newsla on Mar 17, 2013 - 05:20 PM
2013 NHRA: Aranas Well Represented In Gatornationals Pro Stock Motorcycle Field

Led by 2011 NHRA Rookie of the Year Hector Arana Jr., all three members of the drag racing Arana family have successfully qualified for the season-opening Pro Stock Motorcycle race, the 44th annual NHRA Gatornationals at historic Auto-Plus Raceway.


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Arana Jr. and his father Hector Arana Sr., the 2009 world champion, ran identical 6.805-second passes on their Lucas Oil Buell V-Twins to secure the Nos. 2 and 3 positions on the ladder. Arana Jr. took the second slot due to his slightly better top speed of 197.36 mph. Arana Sr. maxed out at 196.62 mph.

"Considering everything that's happened as far as the process of getting here and all the hours and all the stress we went through this off-season, everything really came together as planned for all three of us," Arana Jr. said. "We're all very happy. It's cool my brother (Adam) made the show, and he already reminded me that he's one step ahead of me because I didn't qualify for my first race.

"I'm really pleased with the performance we've had out of all three bikes. They're running like bracket bikes, really consistent, and it's just a little bit faster every time. Hopefully tomorrow we keep doing the same thing and we're the fastest at the end of the day."

In Sunday's first round, Arana Jr. will face Michael Phillips, who qualified 15th with a 6.910 at 195.48 mph. His father draws veteran Jim Underdahl, the 14th-place qualifier, who went 6.906 at 195.31 mph. Adam has the toughest draw, facing three-time world champion Andrew Hines, who earned the fifth position with a 6.836 at 194.77 mph.

Making his professional debut, Adam Arana was a tenth of a second slower than his brother and dad, carding a best lap of 6.900 seconds at 195.08 mph on his ProtectTheHarvest.com Buell V-Twin, which placed him 12th on the grid. Still, he was enjoying his first race at the top level of the sport.

"The butterflies have settled down a little bit," Adam said. "I'm having fun but it's a lot to take in all at once. I really wanted to get that first pass in and just be done with it. After that it got a little easier.

"I'm sure I'll be nervous again tomorrow morning with it being my first race day and all that. Plus, I got Andrew, so I'll need to have a great light and ride a perfect lap to have a chance. We'll do the best we can."

Naturally, Arana Sr. has been focused on his youngest son, but he says race day will allow him to be a little selfish.

"Overall, I'm pleased with the outcome so far," Arana Sr. said. "Nothing's broken and we're all in the show. My main concern has been Adam. He's doing great and he's only going to get better and better. I've been there coaching him and making sure he does everything right over and over. He probably is tired of me being in his ear but we can't let any bad habits develop at this early stage."

"Now that he's in I can relax a little and focus on my riding. I want a win really bad. It's been a while and I'm so ready for it. I want to give Charlotte and Forrest (Lucas) and everyone at the Corydon (Ind.) plant something to be proud of."

Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. with ESPN2 showing the race Sunday evening.

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