BAYTOWN, Texas --
The 2013 season marks only his third year in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and it was at this event in 2011 where he qualified for his first national event. He also recorded his first round win which came at the expense of his father, Hector Arana Sr., whom he faced in the first round. He was defeated the next round, but the memories of that day will stick with him during his entire career.
"It's been a good track to me," Arana Jr. said. "That first race was really intimidating because I knew what my dad could run, and I knew the motor in my bike wasn't up to speed yet. It was definitely intimidating. I knew he wasn't going to take it easy on me because he still wanted to show me, 'Look, I'm still top dog and I'm not going to give this one to you.'"
Arana Jr. has gotten off to a fast start in the 2013 season and is leading the points following his season-opening category win at the event in Gainesville. He beat an impressive line-up of drivers including Michael Phillips, three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Eddie Krawiec, Arana Sr. and Steve Johnson in the final round. It was his fourth career win in the category and his first since his rookie season.
"I feel pretty good. and the bikes are running good," Arana Jr. said. "They ran really good in Gainesville, and we've been doing some tweaking here and there and hopefully we can find a little more. We'll be ready to come out fighting and go for that victory."
Royal Purple Raceway has long been known as a track that provides excellent conditions for all categories especially the naturally-aspirated Pro Stock Motorcycles. Located near Trinity Bay and only 10 feet above sea level, the track location typically offers plenty of cool air that these two-wheeled machines crave to boost performance.
The Pro Stock Motorcycle category will be featured along with the three other classes in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock.
In Pro Stock, two-time and defending event champion, Vincent Nobile, will be looking for continued success at the facility where he secured his first career victory in 2011. Points leader Allen Johnson, Mike Edwards and Jeg Coughlin will all be vying to end Nobile's domination of the track and take home a win at the event.
In Top Fuel, Tony Schumacher has added two more NHRA Wally trophies to his tally with wins in Phoenix and Las Vegas and they have placed him atop of the points standings early in the season. His Don Schumacher Racing teammates Antron Brown and Spencer Massey are both on his heels and will be looking for wins at Royal Purple Raceway.
Courtney Force leads the Funny Car category with two final round appearances thus far in the season with one win in Pomona. Also splitting time atop the points standings have been Ron Capps and Johnny Gray, who will both be serious contenders when the series visits the Lone Star state.
The NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series as well as the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series also will thrill the crowds during the weekend with intense side-by-side competition.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as every ticket is an exclusive pit pass, allowing them firsthand to see the highly skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds. While visiting the pits, interactive NHRA Nitro Alley and the NHRA Manufacturers Midway are two popular areas fans won't want to miss.
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will begin on Friday, April 26, with sessions at 3:30 and 5:45 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, April 27, at noon and 2:15 p.m. Final eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 28.
To purchase reserved seats, contact Royal Purple Raceway at (281) 383-7223 or www.RoyalPurpleRaceway.com. For more information about NHRA, please visit www.NHRA.com. Children 13 and younger will receive free general admission tickets with a paid adult.
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