NHRA Pro Stock: Father Doesn’t Know Best

| June 30, 2014
Hector Arana Jr. won the season opener in Gainesville  Florida.

A week after Angie and Matt Smith met in an historic husband-wife final, there was a father-son battle on the NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock Motorcycle tour when Lucas Oil Buell’s Hector Arana Sr. and Jr. met in the final round. In perhaps the ultimate example of a rebellious youth, Arana Jr. defeated his far more experienced father, 6.92 to 6.94. Afterwards, both Arana’s insisted that the victory was sealed long before the two riders staged for the final round.

There have been other father-son final rounds in NHRA drag racing and even a pair of father-daughter finals with John Force and his daughters Ashley and Courtney, but never one in the Pro Stock motorcycle class.

“We won together,” said Hector Jr. “I would not be here without [Hector Sr.]. To race him in a final is just a dream come true for our whole team. We’ve been trying to do this for four years and it finally happened. It didn’t really matter who won because we were bringing home a Wally [trophy] to Indiana. Now we just need a brother-brother final with me and Adam. As good as this feels to be honest, I would have preferred to beat one of the other riders. It would feel a lot better than beating my dad.”

Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson’s Eddie Krawiec had the dominant bike in qualifying and appeared ticketed for the final round, but he lost in the second round when he red-lighted against last week’s winner, Kandy Buell’s Angie Smith. It was the second time in as many events that Smith has defeated Krawiec and it opened the door for the Arana bikes to move into the final.

Arana Jr., the number-two qualifier in the 16-bike field, opened eliminations with a strong 6.873 in his win over Gainesville champ Steve Johnson and followed with a 6.894 to defeated Krawiec’s Harley teammate, Andrew Hines, who struggled to find the combination all weekend in the hot and humid conditions at Route 66 Raceway. Arana Jr. earned a spot in his 14th final round when he stopped Gann’s Speed Buell’s Shawn Gann, 6.888 to 5.958.

Arana Sr., seeking his first win since his championship season in 2009, rode perhaps one of the best races of his career to reach his 19th career final. The number-five qualifier, Arana Sr. beat defending event champion Star Buell’s Michael Ray, reigning World Champion Matt Smith, and Smith’s wife, Angie. Arana’s best round came against Matt Smith when he used a starting line holeshot to take a 7.050 win over Smith’s quicker 7.038.

To read more of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock Motorcycle Route 66 Raceway report, click here


By Kevin McKenna