The first three races of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series that featured the Pro Stock Motorcycle category were like a dream for Hector Arana Jr. on his Lucas Oil Buell. He won the first three events (Gainesville, Charlotte, Houston) and was the No.1 qualifier at Charlotte and Houston.
The following two events have been tough with first round losses plaguing the team. Arana Jr. retains his points lead in the category and is confident the best is yet to come as the third-year-rider prepares for the seventh annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, July 4-7 here at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the winners at last year's national event.
"I got it all out of my system, and hopefully that won’t happen any more for the rest of the year," Arana Jr. said. "I had a feeling something like this was going to happen. You do so well, and I just felt like there was no way I was going to doing so amazing. The whole time, I felt like something was going to happen. I'm just glad it happened now, early in the season, instead of in in the Countdown. I think we got it all out of our system and we should be ready to rock and roll."
If Arana Jr. is to seal the deal and race to the winner’s circle Sunday, he will have to outlast a field of 16 Pro Stock Motorcycle racers that can easily win the event. John Hall recorded his first NHRA Mello Yello Series victory in Epping, N.H. recently and Michael Ray in his sophomore season recorded his second career win at Houston.
Everyone coming to the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals will watch the continuation of the tight points battle in Top Fuel with Shawn Langdon leading the standings and seven-time champ Tony Schumacher lurking in second. Massey, Antron Brown, Bob Vandergriff and Steve Torrence have all won events this season and will be looking to add another win to the ledger.
In Funny Car, racers will continue their battle for the top points position, which multiple drivers — Matt Hagan, Johnny Gray, Ron Capps and Cruz Pedregon — have occupied this season. John Force and his daughter Courtney have both won races, and they and Alexis DeJoria, Del Worsham and 2012 world champion Jack Beckman will be searching for the win.
Pro Stock is led by 2009 world champion Mike Edwards who with three wins is atop the standing in the Factory-Hot Rod category. 2012 world champion Allen Johnson, four-time champion Jeg Coughlin and Shane Gray will all look to take home the win at the event.
As always, fans can interact with their favorite drivers because every ticket is an exclusive pit pass, allowing them to see firsthand the highly skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds. While visiting the pits, fans won’t want to miss the interactive NHRA Nitro Alley and the NHRA Manufacturers Midway.
THURSDAY, July 4 - LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying at 9 a.m.
FRIDAY, July 5 - LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations 8:00 a.m.
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER & FUNNY CAR qualifying at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES qualifying at 4 and 6:30 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 4:45 and 7:15 p.m.
SATURDAY, July 6 - LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations at 8:00 a.m.
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER & FUNNY CAR qualifying at 10:00 a.m. and 1st round eliminations at 4:00 p.m.
PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES qualifying at 11 a.m.; First round of eliminations at 1:30 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 11:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.
SUNDAY, July 7 - Phil Dirt & The Dozers Concert at 9 a.m.
Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
Top Fuel - 3.780 seconds by Larry Dixon, June ’10; 322.73 mph by Spencer Massey, June ’12.
Funny Car - 4.032 seconds by Ashley Force Hood, June ’10; 313.15 mph by Del Worsham, June ’10.
Pro Stock - 6.583 seconds by Ron Krisher, June ’11; 209.36 mph by Krisher, June ’11.
PS Motorcycle - 6.887 seconds by Hector Arana Jr., June ’11; 194.49 mph by Andrew Hines, June ’10.
TICKETS: For tickets, call (419) 668-5555 or purchase online by clicking below.