For the last few races, the Lucas Oil Buell did its best to put a few more gray hairs on the top of Hector Arana’s head, but all of that is in the past.
Heading into this weekend’s NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, Arana said he’s much more relaxed because he’s no longer having to obsess why his bike has been running inconsistently.
“Mentally I’m ready for it,” said Arana, the reigning Full Throttle Series champion in Pro Stock Motorcycle. “I’m going to concentrate, make the most of these next two races and get a good start for next year.”
Arana is currently fifth in the season standings, but has been mathematically eliminated from being able to defend his title. However with some good races and a little help he can finish as high as third in the final standings.
Right now, however, the top goal on Arana’s mind is to break through and pick up that first victory of the season, which has eluded the veteran driver this season.
“Our No. 1 goal is to get in that winner’s circle and bring some trophies home,” Arana said. “We’ve done regular maintenance on the bike, and I’m going to be more focused on qualifying well and racing.”
However, no race at Las Vegas is totally business.
The Pro Stock Motorcycle class has traditionally celebrated Halloween at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a big way. Last year, one of Arana’s male crew members dressed as Wonder Woman at the starting line.
“That same guy told me he’s got something else planned for this year,” Arana said. “But he won’t tell me exactly what. It’s going to be a surprise for everyone.
“As a team we do our best when we are enjoying the moment. Sometimes you fall into that regular work routine and it just gets tiring. We’ve got to take the time and enjoy life.”