HECTOR ARANA, JR.
Residence: East Northport, New York
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Date of birth: March 4, 1989
Married: Wife, Nicole
Height/weight: 5’9″, 150 lbs.
Hobbies: Snowboarding, mountain biking
Pro Stock Motorcycle
2017 motorcycle: Lucas Oil Buell
Crew chief: Hector Arana
Team owner: Hector Arana
2015 wins/runner-up finishes: 2/1
Career wins/runner-up finishes: 11/7
2016 points finish: 8th
Best points finish: 2nd (2011)
Playoff appearances: 5
First start: Gainesville 2011
Career-best elapsed time: 6.772 seconds (Englishtown 2014)
Career-best speed: 199.88 mph (Charlotte 1 2015)
2016 Season Highlights
- Raced to a runner-up finish at Indianapolis
- Earned a berth in the Countdown playoffs for the sixth straight season
- 2015: Raced to two victories at Chicago and St. Louis
- 2015: Qualified No. 1 at two events
- 2015: Earned a berth in the Countdown playoffs for fifth straight season; finished fifth in the points standings
- 2014: Raced to two victories including the season-ending event in Pomona; Qualified No. 1 at three events; Earned a berth in the Countdown playoffs for the fourth straight season; Finished third in the points standings
- 2013: Raced to four victories in five final round appearances; Qualified No. 1 at three events; Earned a berth in the Countdown playoffs for third straight season; Finished fourth in the points standings
- 2012: Raced to three runner-up finishes and finished third in the series standings
- 2011: Earned the Auto Club Road to the Future Award, NHRA's rookie of the year; Finished second in the championship points battle and collected three wins and seven No. 1 qualifiers
Notable: Attended Purdue University; Father, Hector Arana also competes in Pro Stock Motorcycle
Hector Arana Jr. is one of the young bloods in the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle ranks, but don’t confuse his youth with inexperience. Entering the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the 27-year-old rider of the Lucas Oil Racing TV Buell now has six sage years of quarter-mile proficiency under his belt. The 2011 Road to the Future Award (Rookie of the Year) winner looks inevitably poised to add "world champion" to his already stellar resume, possibly in 2017.
In his short but remarkable career in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock Motorcycle class, one stat sticks out above the others – Arana averages a final-round appearance in every five national events, an incredible 20 percent chance of a money-round run.
Arana has 11 Wallys in his expanding trophy case. He’s been the No. 1 qualifier 18 times in his 96-event tenure on two wheels. He is among a handful of competitors to have raced in NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship playoffs in every season of eligibility, assuring a top-10 finish each time.
Admittedly, last season was Arana’s poorest from a performance point of view. He had only one final round and finished eighth in championship points. His Lucas Oil teammate, father and team owner Hector Arana Sr., also struggled on the track. The two combined to get past the second round of eliminations only five times. Mechanical woes set the team back all year, but both father and son are certain they’ve alleviated their problems heading into the new season after seeing some light at the end of the paved tunnel.
"We have very high expectations every time we race," Arana Jr. said. "We think we should win every race; every successful racer thinks that way. Last year we had some mechanical problems with my bike and with dad’s bike and it took us a while to start getting those things resolved.
"We put all those problems behind us now. Dad and I talk about our plans for the season almost every day. We will have a lot better season than we had in 2016.
"My confidence level is high considering we ended the year making pretty consistent runs. The guys at the shop have been working really hard to get us ready for 2017, and I'm excited to get back out there."
The past year was certainly much brighter for the younger Arana away from the racetrack. In December he got married and moved to Long Island, N.Y. with his bride Nicole, where he works for Curtiss-Wright, a worldwide provider of highly engineered, technologically advanced products and services.
"I’ve been enjoying being married," Arana Jr. said. "Nicole and I went to Mexico for our honeymoon and that was really fun. We went scuba diving, which is something I've never done before. It was really cool to breath underwater and to see all the amazing fish."
Arana Jr. is also eying another amazing fete on the horizon.
"The first 200-mph motorcycle run is definitely achievable given the right conditions," Arana Jr. said. "I would be ecstatic if one of the Lucas Oil motorcycles is able to break the 200 barrier. It’s definitely a goal we’re after, and we hope to get it first."