In posts on Facebook and Twitter, Bobby Labonte Racing announced that its drivers, including Earl Pearson Jr., will not be participating in this weekend's Firecracker 100 as originally planned. The team will instead choose to take the weekend off, regroup, and focus on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series races scheduled for July 2 and 3.
Hector Arana and Hector Arana Jr. will be in Norwalk, OH, as planned, for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. After some mechanical issues in the last Pro Stock Motorcycle event, Hector Jr. will be arriving in Norwalk with a brand new engine.
"Gracie is her name, and she's going to kick butt," Hector Sr. said of his son's new powerplant. Incidentally, Grace is the name of Hector's wife (Hector Jr.'s mother). And the Aranas planned to keep the family theme going today with a trip to Cedar Point, the famous amusement park in nearby Sandusky. Don't call him superstitious, but Hector Sr. and his family visited Cedar Point prior to the Norwalk race back in 2008, when Hector earned his first ever NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle victory...
Though the weather in June tends to be sunny and pleasant, the results so far this month for the Appliance Zone Racing teams have not. Chris Wall started the month with three middle-of-the-pack finishes in races in Tennessee and Kentucky, but then didn't last into the weekend at Eldora Speedway for The Dream, burning a piston before qualifying began. He also missed out on qualifying for the main event at Cherokee Speedway on Friday, and rain on Saturday dashed any hopes for a bounce back performance in Virginia.
Earl Pearson Jr. reached a sponsorship deal with ApplianceZone.com just before the Ralph Latham Memorial on June 4, and the partnership came out of the gate well with a 5th place finish at that race. But like Chris, Earl also had a bad Dream at Eldora. The #44 car finished 7th in the first heat race, and then mechanical issues arose which the crew were not able to correct in time for the C-main race, sending the team home earlier than they had hoped. Earl did make the main event at Cherokee Speedway on Friday, though he had to use a provisional start to get there. He battled his way out of the back, but still finished 19th.
No luck on the dirt, right? The lone NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle race of the month so far for Hector Arana and Hector Arana Jr., the Lucas Oil and ApplianceZone.com sponsored team, did not play out much better. Both father and son were knocked out in the first round of eliminations.
So now is the time for the Appliance Zone racing teams to get hot as we officially enter summer. The previous track record of these drivers shows that they won't be down for long. Earl Pearson Jr. will be right back in the saddle this weekend for the Firecracker 100 in Sarver, PA. It's technically an off-week on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, but the Firecracker, sanctioned by the World of Outlaws, is one of the bigger dirt late model races of the year. Earl did not appear at last year's race, but he's had some success there, finishing third at the inaugural Firecracker 100 in 2007. Chris Wall hasn't announced his race plans for the weekend, but may take the week off to recharge or run at an event closer to his Louisiana home.
The Aranas will be back on the track in Norwalk, OH, for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. This is the halfway point for the Pro Stock Motorcycle 10-race regular season, and the good news for the Aranas is that they are both currently in position to make the 10-driver field for the 6-race playoffs in the fall. Hector Sr. is in sixth, and Hector Jr. is in tenth, holding a tiny two-point lead over Shawn Gann for the last playoff spot. Now entering its fifth year, the race at Norwalk has become known for producing some upsets, so this could be the chance for the younger Arana to post the first huge result of his rookie year. Be sure to tune in to ESPN2 at 10pm ET on Saturday and 8pm ET on Sunday to catch the action.
The racing schedule in July is absolutely packed on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (10 events in 30 days!), and with three NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle events as well, the Appliance Zone racing teams could very well be racking up the points in no time. We'll keep the updates coming here and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, so check back soon!
If you've never visited our site before, then welcome in! If you have, then welcome back! We hope you like the new design and new features of the site, which will allow us to keep you up-to-date on your favorite ApplianceZone.com-sponsored drivers. Whether you're a fan of Chris Wall, Earl Pearson Jr., or any of the other racers we support, we want www.appliancezoneracing.com to be your destination for news and insight.
We'll be posting the latest race results on each driver's Events page, as well as giving you a recap of Appliance Zone Racing's exploits each week in the News section. And to fill in the gaps, we have this Blog section where we'll discuss anything and everything else of interest to Appliance Zone Racing fans.
Coming soon, we'll have merchandise from the Appliance Zone race teams available for purchase in our online store, giving fans a chance to pick up the latest gear even if they can't make it out to the track.
So take a stroll through the new site and let us know what you think! Let your voice be heard in the Forums and sign up in the Club section to become an official Appliance Zone Racing member, for whom we will be running special promotions for www.appliancezone.com and www.lucasoilonline.com, so don't miss out! And don't forget to "like" us on Facebook and "follow" us on Twitter!