There’s no questioning Hector Arana Sr.’s competitive fire.
Arana won NHRA’s 2009 Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship and has been one of the top competitors in the class the past three-plus years.
Arana admitted, however, advancing to the Supernationals finals last Sunday at Englishtown, N.J. was tough for him to digest. That’s because Arana Sr. beat his son Hector Arana Jr. in the semifinals. Both Aranas race Lucas Oil Buell motorcycles.
“At first I wasn’t even thinking about racing him (Hector Jr.),” the elder Arana said. “We consulted about how the bikes were tuned up and my competitive fire and adrenaline took over and I just wanted to win the race. Then, when I raced and won I was happy. Then, it really hit me that I beat him and I was more sad than happy.”
Hector Sr. clocked a 6.836-second elapsed time to defeat his son’s 6.901 lap. The Arana’s have now raced each other twice in eliminations. Hector Jr. beat his father in the first round at Houston in 2011. That was the first Pro Stock Motorcycle race the younger Arana qualified for and he won with a 6.999-second run, while Arana Sr., slowed to 9.553 seconds.
“It’s easier if I race my dad only because I know one of our bikes is going to go past that round,” Hector Jr. “As far as going up to the starting line, I do my same routine. I do not change anything up.”
Actually when Hector Sr. and Hector Jr. meet on the track, they are not the only ones involved in the family affair. Adam Arana, Hector’s younger brother, is their dad’s crew chief. Dan Gonzalez is Hector Jr.’s wrench boss.
“Adam works on my dad’s crew and helps him with his clutch and Dan helps me with my clutch,” Hector Jr. said. “Then, we all get together and everybody looks at the graphs and computer information we have and we make group decisions for each bike. We put those decisions in each bike and we go down the track. As you can see, both of our bikes were almost identical in ets (elapsed times). Something happened to my bike (against his dad) as it slowed down in the middle and we have to figure out what happened there. The bikes are pretty consistent and pretty close.”
Although Hector Sr. acknowledged being sad about beating his son, he didn’t show that side to Hector Jr. when they returned to the pits.
“He wanted to know what happened to me because he saw that I left on him and then he came around me just at the end,” Hector Jr. said.”I cut a .022 light and he cut a .080 light, so he wanted to know what happened to my bike. We have not pulled the motor apart to see why my bike slowed down.”
Presently, Arana Jr. is focusing on figuring out some way to stop the domination by Harley-Davidson teammates Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines.
The last six NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle national events, dating back to last year, have been dominated by Krawiec and Hines.
Krawiec beat Hines in the finals of the Las Vegas fall race last season and then at the season-ending NHRA Finals at Pomona, Calif., Hines defeated Krawiec in the final round. At the 2012 season-opening Gatornationals, Krawiec edged Hines in the finals. At Houston, Hines won and then Krawiec came through with victories at Atlanta and Englishtown.
“We have to try and come up with something so we can get an edge on the Harleys,” Arana Jr. said. “Somebody has to stop them.”
NHRA addressed the issue of parity in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class March 20 by increasing the minimum weight for the Harley Davidson 160-cid, 4-valve combination by 20 pounds, from 640 pounds to 660 pounds.
Arana Jr., believes the added weight has not made a difference.
“They still are five hundredths faster than us,” Arana Jr., said. “I’m going to tell you what our bikes are maxed out. When you saw the 83 my dad ran and the 84 I ran (at Englishtown) our bikes were not going to go any faster. When you look at the tune-up, everything was perfect. We weren’t going to run any 70s like Eddie was able to run. They definitely have more power than us and we just have to find a way to get around it. If NHRA is not going to do anything we are going to have to do something ourselves and just try to beat them. If we had the power like that (like the Harleys have) I have to say we would probably do the same thing, so I can’t say anything against them. It is NHRA that needs to work on the parity.”
Krawiec set low elapsed time at Englishtown at 6.782 seconds.
The Pro Stock Motorcycle class returns to action June 28-July 1 at in Chicago.
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