HECTOR ARANA SR., JUNIOR READY FOR 2018
With the 2018 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle season on the horizon, there will be two familiar faces competing again in the Pro Stock Motorcycle ranks – Hector Arana Sr. and Hector Arana Jr.
The father-son team will back in the mix – beginning with the Gatornationals March 15-18 in Gainesville, Fla. – and the elder Arana is optimistic about the upcoming season.
“Our goal is to win rounds and be a contender for the championship,” Arana Sr. said. “We have worked hard, and not just us, I know every team is working hard, but I do want to win another championship, or I would love to see my son win the championship. He’s an excellent rider.”
Arana Sr. won his lone NHRA PSM world championship in 2009. Hector Jr.’s career-best finish in the points was second in 2011 his rookie year.
Arana Jr. had a decent 2017 season highlighted by four runner-up finishes at Englishtown, N.J., Chicago, Indianapolis and the Las Vegas fall race.
Arana Sr., however, is coming off a 2017 year that was sabotaged by an on off-track injury. Arana Sr. injured his left shoulder while fixing a flat on his team’s hauler as the team was headed back from Englishtown, N.J., after the race June 11.
The injury required surgery in June and as a result Arana Sr. missed 11 of the season’s final 12 races. Arana Sr. did return to action at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Toyota Nationals (Oct. 26-29). He qualified No. 7 and lost in the first round to Mike Berry.
“I jumped in the saddle in Vegas,” Arana Sr. said. “The first hit, you’re thinking what will happen. Will it hurt? I didn’t have any problems. I would like to get some testing done (before the season). I need too so I can get back and get comfortable again. I want to make at least a couple of hits in testing just to shake the bike down. We are planning on going to Valdosta (Ga.) or Bradenton (Fla.) (for testing) before Gainesville.”
In the upcoming season, Arana Sr. will be campaigning his Lucas Oil Buell and Hector Jr. will be running the Lucas Oil Racing TV Buell.
“We are going to run one (Buell) with the new EBR body style, and I will run that,” Arana Sr. “Hopefully, Hector doesn’t take it away from me.”
Arana Jr. debuted the new EBR-body style Buell in Q1 and Q2 at the U.S. Nationals last year in Indianapolis. The bike had some trouble at Indy in the first two qualifying sessions. He had runs of 8.755 seconds and 7.103 seconds. Arana Jr., who was in the championship hunt at the time, decided to switch back to his old bike.
Arana Sr. then brought the new EBR-body style Buell back out when he competed in Las Vegas in October.
“I chose Vegas because of the shutdown area and everything,” Arana said. “It was a good place to feel the bike and know what it is doing. Hector Jr. then ran that bike in Pomona, Calif. (Nov. 9-12) because he had nothing to lose and he saw how I ran with the bike. He wanted to ride it, so he could decide whether he wants one or not. He rode it and made one good pass. He felt comfortable with it in Pomona because he knew what to expect because he had been on it in Indy. He also saw me ride (in Vegas) and go straight and not have any problems and he was more relaxed and he liked it (the new Buell).”