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Jul 21, 2014 - 07:42 AM
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2014 NHRA: Lucas Oil's Arana Sr. Stays Hot, Reaches Denver Seminals
Posted by: newsla on Jul 21, 2014 - 07:41 AM
2014 NHRA: Lucas Oil's Arana Sr. Stays Hot, Reaches Denver Seminals

Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Sr. continued his hot performance of late with a semifinal appearance at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals on Sunday at Bandimere Speedway.


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Arana reached the final round in the two Pro Stock Motorcycle races before Denver and has moved all the way to fourth in the points standings with his recent streak.

A red-light against Michael Ray in the semifinals kept Arana out of his third consecutive final round. That came after a quick turnaround when ESPN2 began its live broadcast, as the order of the professional classes swapped, putting the bikes first.

"I showed up there with the bike but no leathers, but they were rushing us saying, 'Hey, you have two minutes to suit up and be there because it's going to start,' " Arana said. "But I don't think that had anything to do with it. We tuned the bike differently and it responded. It left the hole quick, but overall it was driver error."

Both riders left early, but Ray got the win because Arana's light was -.023-second to Ray's -.007.

Arana got there with hard-fought victories in the first and second round. In Round 1, Arana and Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Matt Smith were close the entire quarter-mile. Arana had a slight advantage on the starting line, .026 to .033, and a slight advantage on the track, 7.255 at 184.60 mph to 7.259 at 183.15 mph, to get the victory.

"First round I just knew I needed to focus and stay calm and that is what I did," Arana said. "My light was decent, so I got the win and it was good."

That put him against his son, No. 1 qualifier Hector Jr., in a rematch of the Chicago final, where Hector Jr. got the victory.

This time, though, Arana scored the win on a holeshot. He had a .021-second reaction time to give him a .030-second edge, but Hector Jr. fought back.

"It was tight," Arana said. "I knew it was tight, and I could see him coming in my peripheral and then suddenly he just stepped back, so I was more focused on his run and to see if he was coming. I could not hear him closing the gap, so I knew I was going to win, but it was not an all-glory win against your own kid."

Hector Jr. actually passed his dad before a slight problem with his bike allowed his father to get the win with a 7.266-second pass at 185.74 mph. Hector Jr.'s quicker run of 7.245 seconds at 185.84 mph wasn't enough.

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