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Jul 28, 2014 - 06:17 AM
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2014 NHRA: Red-Light Start Ends Day For Defending Sonoma Champ Arana Jr.
Posted by: newsla on Jul 28, 2014 - 06:16 AM
2014 NHRA: Red-Light Start Ends Day For Defending Sonoma Champ Arana Jr.

Defending Sonoma Raceway winner Hector Arana Jr. was left scratching his head after the 2014 NHRA Sonoma Nationals on Sunday.


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The Lucas Oil Buell rider fouled out in the first round this time around, going .059-second too soon in a race against his dad Hector Sr., but what puzzles Arana is an inconsistent Christmas Tree in Sonoma.

"Man, I had some roller-coaster lights this weekend," Arana said. "We came here Friday, and I was .022 red and then I was .016. I was thinking, 'OK, I'm back on track.' "

But he wasn't when he lined up for the third qualifying session Saturday, which also served as the first round of the MiraMonte Records NHRA Pro Bike Battle. Racing his father, neither had a good reaction time with Hector Sr. taking the win.

"Then on Saturday when I was racing Dad in the Pro Bike Battle I had a .122 light," Arana said. "Where that came from, I have no idea because I've been doing the same thing every time. Then I was red in the other session, so I said, 'OK, I'll fix that.' "

Arana made some minor modifications to his clutch lever for Sunday's eliminations, but it didn't pay off.

"I put a stack of rubber bands on my clutch lever," Arana said. "I don't know if I reacted quicker or what."

While Arana was disappointed with his reaction time, he was happy with the performance of the Buell after he dropped the clutch.

"The bike left really good," Arana said. "Finally, we got a good 60-foot -- 1.042, best of the year -- but we had the red-light."

Arana didn't finish out the pass against his dad, preferring to grab the clutch early to save his motorcycle. But he's ready to get back to work at the team's shop in Corydon, Ind., both on his bike and his reaction times.

"I'll go back and sit on that bike every day, practicing and practicing," Arana said. "I need to get back to my normal routine and get set for the Countdown."

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