A motorcycle insurance banner was tethered to an airplane that frequently made passes above Brainerd International Raceway during Friday’s Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
Hector Arana Sr. certainly didn’t need insurance since he didn’t crash his Pro Stock Motorcycle. He composed two virtually flawless and identical qualifying runs to seize his class’ top spot heading into Saturday’s second round.
Arana darted to times of 6.884 seconds and speeds of 192.63 mph. He couldn’t explain the identical times and speed other than to say there’s just something special about BIR and Brainerd.
“I believe it’s just the people working the track, the (NHRA) Safety Safari, the fans, the whole attitudes here are different,” Arana said. “It just seems like more relaxed here, like we’re supposed to enjoy this. That’s the feeling I get.
“I feel like I don’t care. I’m having a great time, Things are just falling into place.”
Andrew Hines was the No. 2 qualifier at 6.887 at 193.57 mph. Hector Arana Jr. was third at 6.905 at 192.71.
Arana Sr. has three No. 1 qualifying spots this season, 20 in his career, one of which was at BIR in 2009. He said Friday’s cool conditions were conducive to fast times.
“The first run was (6.88), I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “The bike hooked up, it looked good. I was pleased with the preparation of this track. It’s always been great over here.”
Arana entered the weekend fourth in season points, trailing Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammates Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines and his son, Hector Arana Jr. He thought it would be quite an accomplishment to be in the winners’ circle Sunday.
“With the streak that the V-Rod’s have been having, this would be the greatest moment if we were to pull one off and hand Forrest Lucas the trophy because he’s the best sponsor you can ever have,” Arana Sr. said.
Mike Bialka, sports editor, may be reached at 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark.