For this weekend’s Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, Lucas Oil Buell Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Hector Arana Sr. believes those characteristics are even more important.
Why? Denver is 5,280 feet above sea level, meaning man and machine will be starved for oxygen. As such, riders can’t take the same approach to Denver as they do for every other NHRA Full Throttle race.
And that starts with Arana Sr. himself.
“Going over there, you have to think totally about of the box,” Arana Sr. said. “I’m physically not used to that altitude, so we’ve got to take it a little bit easier.”
In addition to taking care of his physical condition, Arana Sr. needs to alter the setup of his Buell engine. The engine he’ll use in Denver will be different than the engine he’ll have for the race in Sonoma, Calif., the week after Denver. That means his team will need to prepare for two races – and not just this weekend’s in Denver – before hitting the road.
“There’s going to be a lot of preparation,” Arana Sr. said, “because it’s a totally different engine that we run for the rest of the season versus what we run in Denver.
“I know that we’ve got a lot of work to do, because after that, we’ve got to go to Sonoma. Therefore, we have to change everything on the engine again.”