2018 Top Sportsman & Top Dragster National Champions
Eugene, OR is where the TD #1 went back to as Paul Nero started the season out with a bang and had his championship score wrapped up by mid July. Starting in Pomona, CA with a rd2 loss, Nero then went on to “double-up” at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, AZ 2 weeks later grabbing 241 points and 2 wins in his 1st 3 events. After a somewhat disappointing outting in Las Vegas, NV for another divisional and national in April, that only landed him a semi-final and a rd1 loss, Nero picked it back up in Mission, B.C. with a quarter-final finish and another win. Bringing his win total up to 3 with only 7 races attended and only having to tow 4 separate times.
But the win lights didn’t stop there, after parking his operation for a month before heading to his home race in Woodburn, OR where he would line up for another final round and gain 84 more points. Nero was sitting pretty at 535 and had a bunch of races still to better his current score on, so he made good use of yet another back-to-back event in Sonoma, CA for a semi-final and an eventual throw away 41, bringing his tally up to the eventual winning 608 score. I would say Nero peaked at just the right times throughout the season as he would go to 4 more races later in the year but only turn on 1 win light, giving him no more points than he had in mid July. Going into the last divisional of the year, Nero could only be caught by Mark Jones who would need to win the event. Fortunate for Nero, Jones bowed out in rd2 and ended the year with 545 points, 6 rounds out of the top spot of the now Top Dragster presented by Racing RVs World Champion Paul Nero.
In Top Sportsman, Ronnie Proctor was out to almost the identical start, winning 2 of his first 3 races, starting out in Gainesville, FL and Richmond, VA. After going through a dry spell, Proctor would continue on to Charlotte, NC to turn on only 1 stinkin win light before a pair of semi-final finishes at Reading, PA and Bristol, TN. Proctor unfortunately didn’t see another final round until 4 months after his last one in Cecil County, MD where he would collect 74 final round points. Getting down towards the end of the season Proctor had a good score but needed another big push to put him in the driver seat for the championship, and got it at the 2nd Charlotte, NC event for his 2nd national event win on the year.
With a rap-sheet that included 3 wins and a runner-up, and with 2 other drivers hot on his heel, Proctor made the trip out the Las Vegas, NV for the final divisional on the year in hopes of staying in that #1 spot. Being chased by JR Lobner and Douglas Crumlich the 3 were separated by just 19 points, all having an equal chance of winning. It would come down to who went the furthest in eliminations, Proctor won both his rd1 and rd2 match ups, as Lobner would fall in rd1 and Crumlich in rd2, that left Proctor alone at the top to claim the 2018 Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs World Championship with 599 points.
Photos By – Auto Imagery