2018 National Champion Paul Nero captured his fourth NHRA national event win on Sunday at the Winternationals in Pomona.
POMONA – 2018 World Champion Paul Nero won his fourth NHRA Wally after defeating Chuck Phelps in the Top Dragster final at the Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway.
Nero was spectacular at both ends of the racetrack throughout eliminations, which is no surprise for a former world champ. Although he was one of the slower cars in the class, Paul drove the finish line extremely well and averaged a .021 reaction time.
He qualified in the No. 23 spot with a 6.936 at 192.99 mph.
Paul’s path to the winner’s circle began with a round one victory over Phil Dion. Dion missed the tree, giving Nero the easy round win. Nero put together an .011 package to advance to round two.
After a close .005 finish, Nero took the second round victory over Summer Richardson. Paul’s .028 and four above 7.013 was just enough to squeeze by Richardson’s .021 and five above 7.375.
In the third round of eliminations, Nero’s .031 package left opponent Ed Olpin mathematically ineligible from the start as he was .034 on the bulb. This advanced Nero to the semifinals.
Paul Nero and Steve Hamilton squared up in the semifinal round. With the starting line advantage, .027 to .041, Nero was able to get to the stripe first running one above his 6.97 dial while Hamilton broke out by -.013.
The final round was an easy one for Nero, as his opponent Chuck Phelps missed the tree. Phelps made it past several tough opponents, such as Linzi Meserve and Steve Will, to reach the final round.
Nero drilled the tree with an .013 reaction time in the final and ran a one above his 6.97 dial-in earning his fourth career NHRA Wally.
Congrats to Paul Nero and his family on their latest victory!
For more recaps on the NHRA Winternationals, click here.
About the author: Megan Strassweg is a 22 year old Super Comp racer from Louisville, Kentucky. She races a 2015 American Dragster sponsored by Coolshirt Systems. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May of 2020 with a degree in Photojournalism and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Megan works at Jim Butner Auto in the Finance Department. Growing up at the racetrack, drag racing is all she has known and never plans to give up on it.