Losing in the finals of NHRA’s prestigious U.S. Nationals last Sunday was tough for Hector Arana Sr. to accept.
Not only was he beaten by Harley-Davidson rider Andrew Hines, but he also blew the motor in his Buell during the run at Lucas Oil Raceway.
“That motor is all gone,” Arana Sr. said. “The motor was running good and we ruined a good set of heads and now I’m back to square one trying to see what I have got.”
Making matters worse for Arana Sr. is he doesn’t have much time at all to regroup because the six-race Countdown to the Championship begins Friday at Charlotte, N.C.
“The rain delay at Indy caused us to lose days we could have been working on our motors,” Arana Sr. said. “We have been hustling over here this week, trying to get things done. We have to find a set of pistons so we can put something together.”
Arana Sr. enters the Countdown in fourth place, 50 points behind leader Eddie Krawiec, Hines’ Harley teammate. Hector Arana Jr. is third 40 points back. Both father and son ride Lucas Oil-sponsored Buells.
The standings, however, are the last thing on elder Arana’s mind right now.
“I lost my motor (at Indy) so I have to put something together on my bike,” Arana Sr. admitted. “The other motor I’m putting together is so we can have one for a spare. Otherwise, we are going to go to these next four races without a spare engine. We have got to have a motor before we leave for Charlotte. We have to have a motor built or have things so we can put a motor together at the track. This is the most hectic week we have had all season.”
After Charlotte, the Countdown moves on to Dallas (Sept. 20-23), St. Louis (Sept. 28-30), and Reading, Pa., (Oct. 4-7) on consecutive weekends.
Arana Sr. also realizes he has to find a way to stop Harley-Davidson’s domination.
Krawiec, the reigning world champ, and Hines have combined to win all 10 of NHRA’s Pro Stock Motorcycle national events this season. Krawiec has six wins and Hines has four. The U.S. Nationals actually was the 12th win in a row for the Harley riders dating back to the 2011 fall race in Las Vegas.
“We are trying to stop that streak, that is all we can do,” Arana Sr. said.
Arana Jr. was the last rider other than Krawiec or Hines to win an NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle national event when he beat Krawiec on Oct. 16, 2011 at the Arizona Nationals.
“Every little point in the Countdown counts and we need to try and get all the points we can,” Arana Sr. added. “Charlotte is one of my favorite tracks. I’m looking forward to going there and see if we can stop those Harleys.”
Hector Sr. has two runner-up finishes this season and four pole positions. Hector Jr. has three-runner-up efforts and one pole position.
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