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Lucas Oil rider Arana Sr. happy with progress made in Atlanta so far

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ATLANTA (May 17) - After fighting mechanical issues all season and weather this weekend, Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Hector Arana Sr. is more than ready to get final eliminations started at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

The Lucas Oil Buell rider laid down his fastest time in Q3 Saturday with a pass of 6.912 seconds at 194.24 mph, landing him in the No. 10 spot. Arana will look to lay the hammer down in the first round of eliminations when he takes on Chaz Kennedy.

"Overall, I think we got lucky that we beat Mother Nature and got all four qualifying runs in," Arana said. "Otherwise, I finally started heading in the right direction with the clutch issue and leaving the starting line better. To me, this is the biggest accomplishment we have had since Gainesville.

"After the improvements, I'm looking forward to racing Sunday. Hopefully, we can tweak the bike a little bit more and gain some speed."

Despite forward progress on the Lucas Oil Buell, Arana may have to wait longer than expected to make another pass. Even though the majority of the rain held off today, Sunday's forecast isn't looking favorable for eliminations at Atlanta Dragway.

"The worst thing about rain on elimination day is the suspense of not knowing when we are going to run, if we're even going to run that day," Arana said. "We know they aren't going to call it as soon as we get a couple of showers. That means you have to just sit and wait around. You have to always be ready to get up and go. That feeling tires you out and wears you down. At the end of the day, you have no energy and you want to just get it over with."

Arana will hope for good weather and to take home the victory when final eliminations begin at noon ET, Sunday, which will be broadcast on a tape delay from 9 p.m. to midnight on ESPN2.