Lucas Oil Racing TV rider Hector Arana Jr. is hoping momentum from the most recent NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event will carry him all the way to the winner’s circle at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals this weekend at Brainerd International Raceway.
Arana shook off some early-season blues to qualify in the top half of the field and race to the semifinals two weeks ago in Sonoma, Calif. That performance vaulted him into the top 10 of the Pro Stock Motorcycle points standings with two races left before the top 10 race for the 2016 title in the Countdown to the Championship.
“We just keep the momentum going,” Arana said. “We’ve got the bike consistent. We had some great 60-foot times in Sonoma, a .104 on every run: .1040, .1042, .1043, .1031 — consistently fast. Now we just have to work on the back half, and I think I know just the trick to do that.”
Arana will test those theories at an important event for him and his Arana Racing team this weekend. Backed by a Lucas Oil property in the Lucas Oil race, Arana would love to perform well in front of the Brainerd crowd.
He raced to the final in Brainerd in 2011 and 2012 and hopes to take that one step further this weekend.
“Lucas Oil races are always important,” Arana said. “They’re the greatest sponsors out there, and we wouldn’t be out here racing if it wasn’t for Lucas Oil. We love everything they have done for us. They treat us like family. They are family, so to win at one of their events is awesome.
“My dad has been able to do it and now I’ve got to do it. Like I said, we are on the right track, and I am very confident for Brainerd.”
Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3 and 5:30 p.m., Friday, and 1 and 3:30 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations start at noon, Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will air qualifying action from 9 to 11 p.m., Saturday, and eliminations live from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday. (All times listed in CT).