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Lucas Oil rider Arana Jr. full of confidence going into Atlanta eliminations


ATLANTA (May 17) - Though Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Hector Arana Jr. doesn't have much experience racing at Atlanta Dragway, he is poised to bring home his first victory of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals.

Arana's Lucas Oil Buell showed no sign of slowing down during every qualifying pass it made this weekend in Atlanta. His fastest run came in Q3 when he laid down a 6.878 at 194.18 mph, positioning him in the No. 6 spot. He will take on No. 11 Angie Smith, looking to progress his way through the bracket and into the final round.

"Qualifying overall was alright for us," Arana said. "We didn't do as well as we had expected to do coming into Atlanta. All weekend we've been fighting issues leaving the starting line, which has really hurt our time in the end.

"I know the motors are running strong, but we will still go through them Saturday night and try to make them a little bit better than they already are. Hopefully, we can figure something out to not only gain speed but also help us leave the starting line better on Sunday."

Even though there is still progress to be made on the Lucas Oil Buell, Arana isn't lacking any confidence on the results he knows his Arana Racing bike can produce.

"All I know is my Lucas Oil Buell is bad and she's mean," Arana said. "I thought we had a real chance of taking the No. 1 spot this weekend. Even though that didn't happen, I instead have my eyes set on bringing home the Wally."

Arana will look to score his first victory at Atlanta Dragway when eliminations begin at noon, Sunday. ESPN2 will carry elimination action on tape delay at 9 p.m., Sunday.