A first-place position after the first round of qualifying is a perfect way to start the weekend, but does not guarantee success on Sunday.
Eddie Krawiec admitted as much after his second pass on Friday gained the top spot in qualifying at the Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
Running in the left lane at 194.63 miles per hour, Krawiec took the top spot with an elapsed time of 6.885, a track record.
“When you come here to Brainerd, you aren’t used to having these really good conditions with cool air and good air,” Krawiec said.
“When you look around here, there are trees, which have oxygen and a lot of green grass, which is a good thing,” he added. “The most important thing is going out there and putting together a good package from Step A to Step B. Finally we are doing that.”
If Krawiec can hold the top spot through Saturday, it will be his first No. 1 qualifier in the 2011 season, and his highest qualifying position in the last four years of racing at BIR.
Krawiec lost in the first round of eliminations in 2008 and 2010, but made it to the third round in 2009.
“I struggled here last year, but overall to come out here and run as well as we did just shows the progression of the class,” Krawiec said.
“You see us running fast as a class this year. When you look at Hector Jr. and LE Tonglett up there, they are running fast. But I want to win rounds. It’s great to be a number one qualifier, but that doesn’t guarantee you anything.”
Fans of the Pro Stock Motorcycle class know about Hector Arana, and they got the opportunity to see his son Hector Arana Jr. for the first time on Friday.
Arana Jr. led after the first round of qualifying with a pass of 6.918 seconds, and finished the day just behind Krawiec with a time of 6.898 in his second run. A good weekend would help in getting him into the Countdown as he sat in the final qualifying spot going into the weekend action.
Andrew Hines is the defending 2010 Lucas Oil champion and he put himself in great position with a third-place finish. Hines had an elapsed time of 6.916 seconds on his second run of the day.
With just two events left before the Countdown to the Championship begins, Karen Stoffer leads Krawiec by just five points in the season point’s race. Stoffer managed a time of 6.999 in her first run and couldn’t improve her position in the second race. Stoffer sat in 11th place going into Saturday’s action.
Krawiec has the advantage of track time over Arana Jr., and knows that experience plays a key role in one’s success.
“I think any time you go to a track and have data, it is a major advantage,” Krawiec said. “We did what we set out to do and got some valuable information to put to our second run and it showed. I think tomorrow morning will be fast so by no means to I think this ET today will hold.”