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Jun 01, 2014 - 08:20 AM
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2014 NHRA: Arana Shakes Off The Pressure, Puts ProtectTheHarvest.com Buell In Field
Posted by: newsla on Jun 01, 2014 - 08:18 AM
2014 NHRA: Arana Shakes Off The Pressure, Puts ProtectTheHarvest.com Buell In Field

The best athletes perform at their best under pressure.

Before the final qualifying session of the Toyota NHRA Summernationals on Saturday at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, ProtectTheHarvest.com Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Adam Arana found himself outside the top 16, but then Arana sped down the track with a pass of 6.880 seconds at 193.88 mph to bump his way into the field.


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"Nobody likes not being qualified, but I have 100 percent confidence in our team, in my crew chief Louie (Lubliner), my dad, Hector Jr., Dan Gonzalez, and everyone who helps out," Arana said. "I wasn't worried that I wouldn't make it into the show. My worst fear was that we wouldn't make a stellar run."

Arana felt no pressure as he sat on the bike underneath the tower before his final run. All he wanted to do was make a good pass.

"We came out and made a mediocre run," Arana said. "We definitely have something to tune off of and make it go quicker. I just wish we had one more run so we could be higher up in the field."

The Pro Stock Motorcycle field got only three chances at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park this weekend, as the first session Friday was canceled because NHRA needed time to work on the racetrack.

Arana's first two passes had to be aborted well before the finish line.

"The reason why I wasn't able to make it down the track was because of minor issues," Arana said. "We had electrical issues on the first one: The motor shut off halfway through fifth gear. Then the bike spun real hard on the hit in our second run, and it drove toward the left. I decided it was better to pull in the clutch than it was to cross the centerline."

Arana did all he could to complete the pass, as he was leaning right for most of the run, trying to get his Buell to move that way.

"I wanted to make the run," Arana said. "We're all competitive, and I just remember drifting and drifting and drifting, so I kept continuing to lean. You don't want to be too aggressive and offset the bike because that could sometimes be worse. You want to be smooth, but it wasn't reacting.

"I saw the 330-foot block, and I was pretty close to it. I saw the 660-foot mph and e.t. block coming up, and I was thinking, 'I could either do something stupid and try to make an aggressive correction and potentially mess up, or I could hit the blocks and take a chance of messing up the bike or hurting my foot or something.' Hitting those foam blocks at 160 mph would not be fun, so I did the smart thing and pulled in the clutch."

Qualifying highlights will air this evening beginning at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Eliminations start at noon, Sunday, and will be shown in slight tape-delay later Sunday afternoon.

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