PHOENIX, Ariz. (February 27, 2018) – Division 6 standout Paul Nero raced his way to victory in the Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com category at the 34th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Motorsports Park. On his way to the winner circle, the Eugene, Ore.-native defeated the likes of John Richardson, J.R. Lobner, David Morgan, Mark Simmons, and Rodger Comstock in five ultra-competitive rounds of racing.
Coming in second in the national points in Top Dragster in 2017, Nero came into this season as one of the top competitors in the class.
In the first round, No. 19 qualifier Nero faced No. 3 qualifier John Richardson. With over five tenths of a second separating them on their dial-in boards, Nero left first with a .030-second reaction time. At the finish line, Nero’s starting line advantage was so great over Richardson that Richardson ran his dial-in with a zero and still wasn’t able to defeat Nero.
Second round, Nero lined up against J.R. Lobner. At the starting line, only .003-seconds separated the two opponents. Nero ran right on his dial-in with a 6.722, 196.30 and turned on the win light over Lobner’s 6.525, 202.33 who ran under his 6.54 dial.
In the third round, Nero overcame a starting line disadvantage against competitor David Morgan when Morgan slowed to a 6.690, 187.18 on his 6.64 dial. As Nero approached the finish line, he could see that Morgan was off his dial and he capitalized on the opportunity with his consistent Undercover dragster. Nero crossed the finish line with a 6.731, 196.87 and advanced to the semifinal round.
Down to four competitors, Nero had his closest matched challenger performance-wise. Their dial-ins were only .002-second apart; Nero was dialed a 6.73 and Mark Simmons was dialed a 6.71. Similar to first round, Nero nabbed the starting line advantage over Simmons and punched his ticket to the final round when he clocked in with a 6.767, 195.45.
In the final round of competition, it was the first time all raceday that Nero would leave second at the starting line and be the faster dragster. Chasing Rodger Comstock, it was Comstock’s breakout at the finish line and Nero running one hundredth of a second above his 6.75 dial-in that inked Nero’s third national event win of his career.
“It’s really fun to race at Wild Horse Motorsports Park,” Nero said. “I can’t do any of this without my sponsors. They make this all possible; I can’t stress it enough.”
The NHRA Arizona Nationals marked his third national event final round and his third victory. Nero is 3-0 in final rounds at national events. He now has two national event wins in Top Dragster and one in Super Street from the 2000 Prolong Nationals at Pacific Raceways near Seattle, Washington.
“You know, it was just one of those days,” he laughed. “My wife always says if it’s your day, it’s your day. I wasn’t that great this weekend, but I was on the right side of everything. Man, this is unbelievable.”
“I’m kind of a dog running 6.70’s – everyone is super fast and you just gotta set up the car right. My friend Moe does my nitrous tune-up and it’s deadly; I’d really like to thank him too for his help. I just have to trust the car and let go of the button on time.”
Nero thanks his sponsors Dave Stickland Motorsports, Sharps Bros., Silver State Plumbing, RAD Torque Systems, Metal Works, Team Mickey Thompson, RC Components, and Dunks Performance for their support. Additionally, he’d like to thank his wife Kristi, Moe and Brenda Trujillo, and Blaine Meyer.