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TG Paschal Picks Up Second PDRA Top Dragster World Championship

As the 2021 Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) Top Dragster world champion, TG Paschal knows what it takes to contend for championships. This season, he backed up his 2021 performance with two wins to claim the 2023 Laris Motorsports Insurance Top Dragster world championship.

“Winning a world championship was something that I’ve wanted to do for years,” said Paschal. “The first one meant a lot being the first one, but I think this year meant more because in ’21 when I won it, really all I had to do was go to Virginia for the World Finals and qualify and it was wrapped up. This year, I had to go and hope to do decent in order to win it. It worked out in the long run.”

When Paschal started the season by making it down to six cars at the season opener, he wasn’t sure that was a strong enough start to warrant a full championship chase. He quickly hit a stride, though, as he won the next two races, the Mid-Atlantic Showdown presented by Classic Graphix at Virginia Motorsports Park and the DeCerbo Construction American Doorslammer Challenge presented by Callies at Summit Motorsports Park.

“That made up my mind right there,” said Paschal, who also won at Norwalk in 2021. “Winning back-to-back definitely boosted my confidence. The car was just excellent.”

Paschal suffered first-round exits at his next two appearances, and he chose not to make the long trek up to Michigan from his North Carolina home for the Northern Nationals presented by Talbert Manufacturing. A late-round finish at ProFabrication DragWars at GALOT Motorsports Park kept Paschal on top going into the Pro Line Racing Brian Olson Memorial World Finals presented by ProCharger at Virginia. Dickie Smith and outgoing world champion Tisha Wilson were also in contention.

“It was pretty intense,” Paschal said of the championship battle. “I think I had a four- or five-round lead going into the last race. I was sitting in the water box first round and I’d just seen Tisha go out right in front of me. I knew the only one I had to worry about was Dickie. I did my burnout and the car shuts off. It ended up being a piece of trash in the needle & seat and couldn’t get it to fire back up. I was just beside myself. Dickie went a few rounds. I don’t ever pull for any of those guys to go out, but when he went out in the third round, it was like a breath of fresh air.”

Gary Rowe photo

With his second PDRA championship wrapped up, Paschal is already looking ahead at the 2024 season. First, though, he’s going to take in the highlights of the 2023 season while showing appreciation for those who helped him make it all possible.

“I definitely have to thank my wife and my kids, Chris Dean at Dean’s Performance, Mark Payne at House of Payne, Mickey Thompson Tires, Doug Walker at Walker Enterprises, Race Tech Race Cars, Michael Scott at Right Trailers, Holden Laris at Laris Motorsports Insurance, and Jeff Miller at Miller Tyme Racing,” Paschal said.

The PDRA will recognize Paschal and the other 2023 world champions at the annual PDRA Championship Awards Banquet on Friday, Dec. 8 in Indianapolis.

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