The twice-a-year Four Wide events that NHRA holds for Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors are sometimes confusing, often unpredictable, but never dull. Purists might argue otherwise, but 200-mph motorcycles racing side-by-side-by-side-by-side is, for most fans, a sight to behold. This was the case at the Las Vegas NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle class last weekend.
Hector Arana Jr. Wins In Las Vegas Four Wide NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle
One individual who is definitely a fan is Lucas Oil EBR’s Hector Arana Jr. The second-generation racer Arana Jr. scored again at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 5-7, with a final round win over reigning world champion Matt Smith and Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson teammates Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec. Arana’s three opponents have combined to win 12 championships and more than 100 events, but he wasn’t the least bit intimidated.
Hines’ Harley Street Rod broke before he could get staged, turning the final into a three-bike affair. Arana Jr. left first and won with a 6.907, barely holding off Smith’s quicker 6.903. Krawiec left too soon and drew a red-light start, negating a 6.913-second run.
“This is my second win at a four-wide races, and it’s a lot of fun,” Arana Jr. said. “Our Lucas Oil bike is bad to the bone right now. That is a testament to our team and our consistency. We don’t have the fastest bike right now, but we were consistent. My bike was great and my reaction times got better and better, which was big because that final round was stacked. We had the top-three bikes in the points last year and the top three in qualifying.
Matt Smith Was Awarded Runner-Up Honors At Las Vegas
“Even though Andrew didn’t get to run I still had to deal with Matt and Eddie. I love going up against those guys. It makes me put forth my best effort. I have to dig deep and go for it.”
The win is Arana’s first since last October in Las Vegas, where he won the more traditional two-wide race, which is the penultimate round of the season. Arana won three times last season but missed out on his first Pro Stock Motorcycle Championship. He’s now a 15-time event winner and two-time four-wide champion.
Arana opened eliminations with a four-way battle that included his father, Hector Sr., as well as Suzuki riders Steve Johnson and Kelly Clontz. Both Arana’s advanced to the semifinal round with Hector Jr. recording the best run of the round with a 6.891.
In the second “quad,” the two Arana bikes were matched with Krawiec and White Alligator Suzuki’s Jerry Savoie. Arana Jr., again was quickest with a 6.915 while he and Krawiec advanced.
Arana Jr. Loves Las Vegas
Before the Las Vegas event, which is the second of 16 Pro Stock Motorcycle events, the big news was a 15-pound weight penalty levied against all V-twin entries. The move was designed to help the Suzuki inline four-cylinder bikes but some EBR riders, most notably Matt Smith, protested vehemently, but Arana Jr. was not fazed. In fact, he claims the additional weight might actually work in his favor.
Although he came up short in the final round, Smith, once again, had the best bike. The three-time champion was the number-one qualifier and made the quickest run of the weekend with a 6.879 and set top speed at 197.31mph
Click here for all of the lastest drag racing news.