Former Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Adam Arana recently graduated from the United States Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May, N.J., and will begin his full-time service later this week.
Seaman Apprentice (E-2) Arana, 23, will serve on the USCGC Cheyenne, a river-buoy tender, based in St. Louis. He is due to report there March 6.
"Boot camp was intense but the experience was worth it," Arana said. "The days were long, very long, for about a month. I was averaging four hours of sleep and waking up at 5-5:30 in the morning -- and getting woken up by a whistle. Getting woken up by a whistle is the worst way to get woken up.
"They yelled at all times and we had to yell at all times. There is no talking normal to them. Every time you talk, it was yelling. And it wasn't talking loudly: They would watch your face, and if they didn't see veins popping out of your neck and you straining every single muscle in your face, you weren't talking to them loud enough. I lost my voice."
But Arana fought through and was one of a class of 49 who graduated. Eighty-five started in Arana's company.
"I never thought I wanted to quit because I knew this was what I wanted to do," Arana said. "If there was any doubt in your mind, there would be a good chance you would end up quitting. If you weren't mentally committed to doing this, they would break you and you would want to quit because it wasn't easy."
Arana was joined by his family -- father Hector Arana Sr., mother Grace Arana, brother Hector Arana Jr., and sister Abigail Arana -- and girlfriend Jessica Outten at graduation last Friday.
"Going into it, I thought it would be like every other graduation," Arana said. "But it was not like anything I had ever gone through, so it meant a lot."
USCGC Cheyenne serves the Mississippi, Missouri, and Kaskaskia rivers in Illinois and Missouri, servicing buoys and other navigation aids, as well as tendering some law-enforcement search and rescue activities.
Arana will serve aboard the Cheyenne for an undetermined amount of time before moving to Coast Guard "A" School, where he will learn a specific trade.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season starts for Pro Stock Motorcycle next weekend in Gainesville, Fla., and Arana admitted he's missing the rush to get ready, but he's also excited about his new position.
"It has hit me a little bit that I won't be racing," Arana said. "It kinda stinks, to be honest. I was looking at some pictures and thought, 'Man, I'm going to miss this more than I thought I was.' But I'll be going from one exciting profession to another, so it'll be good."
Drag racing fans can go head to head against stars of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series on the Sonoma Raceway kart track at the 13th annual NHRA Tour de Charity.
Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway, will host the fundraising event Saturday, March 21, with all proceeds benefiting Sonoma County youth groups. The event has generated more than $130,000 since 2003.
Funny Car drivers and Don Schumacher Racing teammates Ron Capps and Jack Beckman as well as Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Scotty Pollacheck will return to participate in this year's event. While this will be Pollacheck's second year participating in the event, his high-speed brethren Capps and Beckman have been regular Tour de Charity participants since its inception and look forward to returning each year.
"It's a great event for charity, and it's so much fun to interact directly with the fans," said Capps. "This is all for charity, but after lunch, the competitive juices start to flow, and that's what really makes this fun."
The cost of the event is $325 per person, and only a limited number of slots still are available. Participants will receive a full-day go-kart rental, race suit, helmet, professional driving instruction, catered lunch, and meet-and-greets and autographs with the NHRA racers.
The Simraceway Performance Driving Center, which operates the karting center, provides the karts, race suits, classroom instruction, and on-track pointers for all competitors. There will be giveaways during the day, and the top-10 qualifiers (race fans) will compete in a 10-lap timed race at the end of day for the NHRA Experience, which includes two tickets to the NHRA Sonoma Nationals (July 31-Aug. 2). Participants with all levels of karting experience are welcome.
To reserve your spot, log on to sonoma.speedwaycharities.org/events/tour_de_charity/, click on the Register Now button, and complete the online form. For more information, contact Cheri Plattner, 707-933-3950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 19th annual DRAW’s Tracy Winter Memorial Golf Tournament will take place March 11 in Gainesville, the Wednesday before the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. It’s the first fundraising activity of the organization’s 30th year.
The popular golf tournament is a great time for all members of the NHRA community to start their golf season with a relaxing day that benefits DRAW’s commitment to assisting drag racers in need of help.
Individual entry is $80, and three Mulligans can be purchased for an additional $10. Included in the entry fee is a $5,000.00 prize for a Hole in One as well as a $1,000.00 Chip Shot Hole prize.
For additional information and forms go to www.drawonline.org or contact Rosalee Noble, 217-345-6537 or email@example.com.
Antron Brown, 2012 NHRA Top Fuel world champion and driver of the Don Schumacher Racing-owned Matco Tools dragster, will visit Western Technical College in El Paso, Texas for the seventh consecutive year on February 25. This year, Brown will be joined by Jack Beckman, his DSR teammate and 2012 NHRA Funny Car world champion and driver of the Infinite Hero 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.
Brown, a former college track star at Mercer (N.J.) Community College, and Beckman, a former sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and a cancer surivor, will speak to Western Tech students about education and career choices.
"I really enjoy doing these school visits through the Matco Tools Tech Ed program," Brown said. "I have been in the student's position before when I was in school at Mercer College in New Jersey. Having the opportunity to give back to these students and speak to them about their future and their career paths is something I find very rewarding. These students and mechanics are the future and it's great to meet them. I've been coming to Western Tech for seven years now and it's a great facility and a great partner of DSR."
Brown and Beckman will be at the school from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. speaking to groups of students who also will have the opportunity to get an up-close look at the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster and Infinite Hero Funny Car and speak with four crew members that work on the 10,000-horsepower nitro-fueled machine.
Since 2013, 20 students from Western Technical College have joined Don Schumacher Racing as interns in a variety of roles, including working on DSR race teams and in the fabrication branch at the DSR race shop in Brownsburg, Ind.
Allan Sharpe, President of Western Tech says, ""We are very proud of our partnership with Don Schumacher Racing. It allows our students the ability to not only learn about real world pit crew scenarios at events like this, but to have an opportunity to intern directly with DSR at races across the Nation and throughout the year."