Despite losing in the first round of the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, Pro Stock Motorcycle rookie Adam Arana learned a lot in his debut weekend aboard the ProtectTheHarvest.com Buell.
Arana raced for the first time and qualified No. 12 in a very fast field. He then lined up against another rider for the first time Sunday, past three-time champion Andrew Hines, who beat Arana’s solid 6.913 at 191.43 mph with a 6.886 at 192.69 mph.
“I learned a lot this weekend,” Arana said. “It’s different than testing. In testing, there’s no pressure at all, but on race day, there’s a lot of pressure that I put on myself. I want to do well.
“I was worried about going up against someone else because I’ve never done that, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I didn’t even pay attention to them.”
Arana’s nerves went away once he put on his helmet, and it showed with a decent .054-second reaction time, but Hines’ bike was just a bit quicker.
“I went up there confident,” Arana said. “I went up there knowing I had a chance. We’re going to look at the run and see what happened, see where we can improve. We’re going to check the video and analyze my riding and get ready for Charlotte.”
The next race for the Pro Stock Motorcycle class is the Dollar General NHRA Four-Wide Nationals fueled by Full Throttle on April 19-21 in Charlotte, so Arana has plenty of time to prepare for it. Still, he was pleased with his initial race.
“It definitely was a good weekend,” Arana said. “I qualified for my first race, which is always good. My brother [Hector Arana Jr.] didn’t qualify for his first race, and he still won rookie of the year, so there’s hope in my corner. I wanted to win, I really did. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.
“It was a good weekend. I had a lot of fun, which is important. I can’t thank Forrest and Charlotte [Lucas] enough for giving me this opportunity as well as my dad. I wouldn’t be here without all of them, and I appreciate it very much.”