By a margin of just two points, the closest finish in the history of the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle class, Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson’s Eddie Krawiec came up short in his pursuit of a second-straight National Championship. Krawiec won the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, but wasn’t able to overtake Lucas Oil Buell’s Hector Arana in the hotly contested points battle. Krawiec closed the season with his fifth victory of the season with a great 6.90 elapsed time after Horne Concrete Buell’s Douglas Horne red-lighted by a thousandth of a second in the final round.
“I struggled for 20 years, but I never gave up,” Arana said. “Every race, I used to come home and my kids would ask, ‘Dad, did you win?’ I always hated to tell them no, but I never thought about quitting, because I wanted them to learn that if you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything. They believe that now. This championship really hasn’t sunk in yet but I’m sure it will tomorrow. I’m going to take a little while to enjoy it and then I’m going to start working on the bike, because I know it’s not going to get any easier.”
“Once I knew I wasn’t going to win the championship, winning the race was the next best thing,” Krawiec said. “I’m a very lucky person to be standing here. That 6.90 run in the final was the first time my bike made a respectable run all day.
“Last year, I won the championship but didn’t win a race. This year, I missed the championship by two points, but I won six races. I think they were both good seasons. I just didn’t score enough points this time.”
The underlying drama of the event was the championship battle between Arana and Krawiec. Arana had the upper hand entering the event with a 54-point cushion, which he was able to increase to 62 by earning extra bonus points during qualifying. Those qualifying points proved to be the difference as Arana lost in the second round but was able to stay on top, even though Krawiec won the race.