NHRA- Hector Aran Jr
June 4, 2012The Thunder Road Show
Lucas Oil's Hector Arana Jr. reaches semis in Englishtown
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 3) – The blow of losing in the semifinals Sunday of the Toyota NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park was softened by who Hector Arana Jr. lost to.
Arana Jr. fell to his father, Hector Arana Sr., in a battle of Lucas Oil Buells.
"If I lose to anybody, I'd rather it be my dad," Arana Jr. said. "I gave him a fighting chance, though. I cut a light on him, and I was out in front of him all the way to the end. I saw him just slowly pull around me."
Arana Jr. left first with a .022-second reaction time, but Arana Sr. ran him down after the 1,000-foot mark to win by .0073 seconds. Arana Jr.'s lap was 6.901 seconds at 194.27 mph to his dad's 6.836 at 195.00 mph.
"When I left the line, it slowly drifted to the center, and then I corrected it," Arana Jr. said. "I overcorrected a little bit, so I took up every part of that track. I probably went 1,400 feet instead of 1,320. Other than that, it was a good race. I'm happy to see my dad finally going to the finals."
Arana Jr., the No. 3 qualifier, got to the semis with two solid lights and two good passes.
"I was pumped up," Arana Jr. said. "I felt good. In qualifying, I don't know what my deal was. I felt off. But come race day, I was excited and pumped up and ready to perform. I felt like I did an excellent job."
Arana Jr. beat Jerry Savoie in the first round, turning a .030 light to a 6.847-second pass at 193.21 mph. That matched him against Andrew Hines, who beat Arana Jr. in the Houston final with a perfect .000-second reaction time.
This time, Arana Jr. left first with a .007 to Hines' .046.
"I got some redemption on Andrew Hines second round," Arana Jr. said. "I cut a .007 light. I figured at least I'd be able to run around him with that number, so it was good. Plus, we ran a good, strong number against him."
Arana Jr.'s pass was 6.858 seconds at 195.28 mph, beating Hines' 6.934 at 192.80 mph.
Arana Jr., the defending Auto Club Road to the Future Award winner as the NHRA's top rookie, has now raced to the semifinals in three of the four Pro Stock Motorcycle events of 2012 and has qualified third or better on all four races.
"Overall, it was a decent weekend," Arana Jr. said. "Still, the worst qualifying position is third – can't complain there. We went to another semifinals, so we're looking good as far as points. If we maintain this pace, we should be looking really good for the championship."