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Jul 19, 2014 - 06:34 AM
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2014 NHRA: Provisional No 1 A Pleasant Surprise For Lucas Oil's Arana Jr.
Posted by: newsla on Jul 19, 2014 - 06:34 AM
2014 NHRA: Provisional No 1 A Pleasant Surprise For Lucas Oil's Arana Jr.

Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. was surprised at how fast he ran during the first day of action at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals on Friday at Bandimere Speedway, but he'll certainly take it.


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Arana was quickest in both qualifying sessions, making a track-record pass of 7.178 seconds at 185.97 mph in the first session to go to the top of the chart.

"Honestly I didn't expect this today," Arana said. "The motor is different but we put in the same tune-up from last year. The motor is running really strong, so the combination came together and we have a great setup for this mountain. All I can say is that I did not expect this."

The altitude in Denver can wreak havoc with a Pro Stock Motorcycle tune-up because thinner air means less horsepower and a drastically modified setup. But Arana and crew chief Dan Gonzalez have the Lucas Oil Buell in line for his first No. 1 qualifier of the season.

If Arana can hold on to the No. 1, he would extend the Arana family's pole-winning streak at Bandimere; father Hector Sr. was No. 1 in 2011, Arana in 2012, and brother Adam last year.

Arana, too, is looking to win for the first time in Denver after dropping a final-round match with Shawn Gann a year ago.

"The past three years we have had great bikes," Arana said. "My dad, brother, and I all have had great bikes. My brother qualified No. 1 here last year, and last year in the final there was just a freak thing that happened here. But hopefully we can just keep it going well here in the mountains and seal the deal."

Arana is still looking for his first Denver win after reaching the semifinals in 2012 and the final last year.

"This track is definitely top five on my list for favorite tracks, if not top three," Arana said. "I know we don't run the speed or the e.t., but the track is awesome. It is one of the best-prepped tracks there is. I also love the scenery, the track carved into the side of the mountain and near the Red Rocks. I just love coming out and racing here.

"My fingers are crossed. I haven't gotten that green Mello Yello hat (for qualifying No. 1) yet, but I'm hoping for that here and hope to improve my e.t. as well."

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