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Arana Jr. Reaches Semifinals In Charlotte, Extends Points Lead

CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 15) - Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. made it the semifinals on Sunday during Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Motorcycle eliminations at the Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals.

"It's about going rounds," Arana said. "The most important thing is winning the first and second round because you can't always win them all."

Arana claimed the win in round one against Steve Johnson and a second-round victory over Michael Ray. He then faced off against his father Hector Sr. in the semifinals. His father got the win after Arana tried to get a jump at the starting line that resulted in a red-light.

"I gave it all we had facing my dad," Arana said. "It was just a little too much. I knew he was going to go for the Tree. I went for it and was a little early.

"I ended up having transmission problems. The bike was not shifting. I was going to lose anyway. On that last run I was trying to shift into fifth gear and it wouldn't shift. I hit the button five times. There was nothing I could do. At that point, I was ahead and didn't know that I had already gotten the red-light, so I was trying everything I could do to win."

Troubles in tow, Arana's run was a 7.297 at 149.38 mph while his father took the round in 6.971 seconds at 192.80 mph.

With the first race in the Countdown to the Championship complete, Arana now finds himself with a 33-point lead over Matt Smith entering the next event, the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals next weekend in Dallas.

"Overall it was a great day," Arana said. "We made a call last night for this Buell and it ended up being a real good call. We picked up and were right where we needed to be. It was a good, consistent day. It's even better that we are going to leave here with the points lead."