ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 10) — The one-two punch of Pro Stock Motorcycle drag racers Hector Arana and Hector Arana Jr. seems especially potent this weekend at the 48th annual NHRA Summernationals as both decorated riders qualified near the top of Sunday’s elimination field.
Arana Jr. was quickest, posting a second-best 6.801 at 196.07 mph on his Lucas Oil Racing TV Buell, placing him one spot ahead of his father, who was third with a 6.823 at 196.67 mph on the Lucas Oil Buell.
“We have a bracket bike here,” Arana Jr. said, referring to the consistency his bike has shown this weekend. “We didn’t end up No. 1 but we are only behind (top qualifier LE Tonglet) by one thousandth of a second. The good session on Friday night we hit a bad bump and it slowed us down just enough for him to take it away.
“Out of the four qualifying runs, we were No. 1 three times and in the other session I was second by a hundredth, so we are right there. What’s really encouraging is we had our best run on a hotter track, so I am very happy with the performance of this Lucas Oil Racing TV Buell.”
As the No. 2 qualifier, Arana Jr. will open eliminations opposite Melissa Surber, who qualified 15th with a best of 6.906 at 189.90 mph. His father will take on 14th-ranked rider Steve Johnson, who topped out at 6.905 and 192.82 mph.
“I am very pleased with the performance we’ve put out here at this event,” said the senior Arana, who is coming off a win at last weekend’s U.S. Pro Stock Motorcycle Open, a non-NHRA race. “We never stop working. It’s been long road to get here but I am finally starting to enjoy this because last year we struggled the whole time and the beginning of this year was more struggle but now we are headed in the right direction.
“When we qualify both bikes like this, it brings me more joy. I am now more relaxed and I want to keep doing this. It’s what we needed to turn this thing around. We will keep doing the work we are doing at the shop so we keep seeing these improvements. Summer is just starting so to run well at the first summer race is a good sign.”
Pro Stock Motorcycle eliminations will begin at noon, Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will feature live elimination coverage from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Sunday. There also will be an elimination show running from 6-7:30 p.m., Sunday evening. (Times are local and subject to change.)
“Our Lucas Oil bikes are consistent and we’re both riding well,” Arana Jr. said. “I think today was a preview of what we’ll see tomorrow; a hot and greasy track, and we ran well in both lanes so we’re ready.”