With six weeks off between the season-opening Gatornationals and this weekend’s eighth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, most Pro Stock Motorcycle teams had a chance to not only get some work done, but enjoy a few days off. That wasn’t the case for Lucas Oil veteran Hector Arana Sr., who barely had time to leave his Corydon, Ind., shop for his youngest son Adam’s wedding.
“The first race gave us a direction we needed to go with the bikes and the engines so we got back home and went to work,” Arana said. “It felt like we’d have lots of time to not only work in the shop, but maybe even go testing.
“Everything was going really well and then out of nowhere the dyno crashed. We had an engine on there and it just stopped. We took it apart best we could but it was something beyond what we could fix so we had to have it repaired. That took two weeks. So much for having any extra time.”
Working with new crew chief Jim Yates, the two-time Pro Stock world champion, the Lucas Oil team, which includes Arana’s oldest son Hector Jr., spent the down time going over their Buells from front to back. When the dyno was back in working order, they immediately put it to use.
“Everything is squared away now,” Arana said. “We did have enough time to do everything we needed to do so I guess if the dyno needed to die, it was best it did during the longest break we have on the schedule.
“It’s still early in our season. Pro Stock Motorcycle does 16 races and this weekend is only the second one. Still, you don’t want to give away anything so it’s important we do well this weekend. We are 100-percent ready for the race.”
This weekend’s event is unique in that four entries race at one time, rather than the conventional two. The four-wide format was popular several decades ago before being resurrected by Bruton Smith when he built zMax Dragway.
“I like it, I really do,” Arana said. “It’s a change of pace, something completely different. Your thinking has to change because there’s a lot going on when you get up there to make a run. It’s another challenge, and I like that.
“The only downside is we have one less round of racing on Sunday, and that potentially eliminates a run where you could be getting more data. Otherwise, I like it and the fans like it so I say let’s race.”
Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Friday, and 1:30 and 4 p.m., Saturday, with eliminations starting at 12:40 p.m., Sunday. Television coverage on FOX Sports 1 begins with a live qualifying show at 7 p.m., Friday, followed by elimination action at 5:30 p.m., Sunday. (All times listed in EDT).