Charlotte, pre-event: After leading the Full Throttle points for much of the 2010 season, reigning series titlist Hector Arana suddenly finds himself 105 points off the frantic pace recently set by past champ Andrew Hines. Between Hines’ sudden resurgence and the resetting of the points prior to the start of the Countdown to 1 playoffs, it’s been a head-spinning turn of events for the affable Puerto Rican.
Now, with this weekend’s third annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at zMax Dragway looming on the horizon, Arana optimistically says there’s no time like the present to make his charge to the top on his Lucas Oil Buell V-Twin.
“This is the best time to get hot, so I’m hoping it’s in the cards for me,” Arana said. “I love this track. It’s probably the best place we go to race, here and Sonoma. Both are owned by Bruton Smith and he does everything first class.
“We need to get a win. That’s something we haven’t gotten yet this year. I’ve been to the final round four times this year but haven’t finished it off. I definitely want to get a couple wins real soon and if I can do that then we will be in the points lead again. That’s what we want the most.”
Arana is the defending champion of this event, having ridden from the No. 1 qualifying position to the winner’s circle by beating Joe DeSantis, Steve Johnson, past series champion Eddie Krawiec, and Karen Stoffer.
“It was a great race for us last year and we have all that data to use this time through,” Arana said. “I wish there was a little more time before Charlotte so we could get some more work done at the shop but I am looking forward to seeing if whatever we’ve done since Indy is taking us in the right direction.
“We need to get on a roll and ride out the season strong. Hopefully we can win Charlotte and the rest of the Countdown races and defend our championship for Lucas Oil and Forrest and Charlotte Lucas.”