CORYDON, Ind. – official release — Lucas Oil photo —
Anthony Vanetti will race four Pro Stock Motorcycle events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series for Arana Racing, beginning with next weekend’s Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver.
Vanetti, of Loyalton, Calif., will ride the MAVTV/Protect The Harvest/Lucas Oil Buell that Adam Arana raced in 2013-14 before joining the United States Coast Guard. In addition to the race in Denver, Vanetti will attend the events in Sonoma, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Las Vegas.
The latter two races are in the Countdown to the Championship, where Vanetti will try to aid title contenders and teammates Hector Arana Sr. and Hector Arana Jr.
“Forrest and Charlotte Lucas and the Lucas family have been so great to me,” Vanetti said. “The sky’s the limit with this company as long as you’re willing to learn and work hard. I’ve got a great future here with Lucas Oil, and I couldn’t ask to be backed by a better family.
“It’ll be fun and I can’t wait. It’s hard to think about anything else. I’m truly blessed to be where I’m at right now.”
Vanetti, 39, caught the racing bug in the 1990s when his cousin, Brian Vanetti, worked on Ron Capps’ Funny Car. He was racing motocross at the time but quickly found a new love.
“When I saw the bikes first run, I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” Vanetti said. “I started bugging my cousin Brian to get my foot in the door in drag racing.”
In 2001, Vanetti got a job on Don Prudhomme’s team working with driver Larry Dixon and crew chief Dick LaHaie. Vanetti was fortunate to win championships in 2002 and 2003 with the team. In 2003, Vanetti bought a Top Gas bike to race and went to George Bryce’s Pro Stock Motorcycle Drag Racing School, later earning his NHRA license on a Gary Tonglet-owned motorcycle.
Vanetti raced some AMA Prostar events for Tonglet and later was invited to audition for the Vance & Hines team. He then got a job in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, but by 2009 he had to postpone his racing dream.
“I was at a point where I’d spent my own money racing, on my own trailer and Top Gas bike, just to get seat time,” Vanetti said. “I just kind of expended my financial energy on that.”
But in 2013, Vanetti got a call from Morgan Lucas asking him to join Lucas’ part-time Top Fuel team for 2014 as a cylinder head specialist. Lucas also told Vanetti that he may have a chance to race the third Arana Buell.
“My parents know what your dream was from day one,” Lucas told Vanetti. “Why don’t you go get your license again?”
Vanetti did last year and is ready to jump on the MAVTV/Protect The Harvest/Lucas Oil Buell for a part-time schedule this season. He could race for the rookie of the year award in 2016.
“If I debut as rookie next year, I’ll be a 40-year-old rookie,” Vanetti said. “I tease people, ‘I’ll be a 40-year-old rookie of the year,’ and everyone laughs, but, hey, if it’s your dream and you think about it every day, you shouldn’t give up on it.”
CREDIT: Lucas Oil