Englishtown: Jay Payne preview

Payne racing for fallen firefighter at Englishtown ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 11) -- The mood may be a little somber in Jay Payne's FireIce Pro Mod pit at this weekend's 41st annual United Association NHRA SuperNationals as the veteran racer...

Payne racing for fallen firefighter at Englishtown

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 11) -- The mood may be a little somber in Jay Payne's FireIce Pro Mod pit at this weekend's 41st annual United Association NHRA SuperNationals as the veteran racer salutes fallen firefighter Brian "Boo" Carey of the Homewood (Ill.) Fire Department. But the world champion drag racer promises he'll be as driven as ever before as he strives to honor Carey's ultimate sacrifice.

"We want to win every race we enter but this one has really taken on special meaning," said Payne, the 2006 Pro Mod champion. "We want to do something for the Carey family and the fellow firefighters of this young hero and let them know that everyone in drag racing appreciates what he did for his community and for this country. He will not be forgotten."

Two months ago, the 28-year-old firefighter/paramedic arrived on the scene of a structure fire at a single family residence. He quickly found out that 87-year-old WWII veteran Wendell H. Elias was somewhere inside the house. The crew tried in vain to reach the elderly victim, with Carey leading the charge. Unfortunately, the brave fireman was gravely injured in his effort and passed away later that evening.

Payne learned about Carey at last weekend's Chicago race and immediately made plans with representatives from FireIce to dedicate the Englishtown race to his memory. The city of Homewood is 25 miles east of Route 66 Raceway, the site of last weekend's event.

"If there's one thing I've learned in representing FireIce for the past two seasons it's that firefighters the world over are one big brotherhood," Payne said. "I know the firefighters in New Jersey will be just as affected by this as the men and women in his own fire house. That's just the way they operate."

Payne has a great chance at winning this event. He's one of only two racers in the Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series to have qualified for the first four events of the season and he enters Raceway Park just 26 points, or slightly more than one round of action, out of first place. He's qualified either first or second at every race.

"The only thing missing is a win," said Payne, who has seven Pro Mod wins in NHRA action. "This would be the perfect weekend to get it done. We obviously have the car to do it, we just need to line up all the pieces."

Payne's sponsor FireIce plans to support the "Ride For Boo," a journey his fellow firefighters will make to 2010 IAFF Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service in Colorado Springs, Colo., to witness Carey's name being added to the wall of fallen firefighters who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

"We're very in tune to the firefighters across this country and around the world and when one of them is lost it hurts," said Michael Cordani, CEO of GelTech. "We spoke with Jay right away when we learned about Brian Carey we knew we wanted to do something to honor his memory. The best way to reach a lot of people is with Jay's racecar so we jumped right on it. I hope this helps in some small way."

-source: jay payne PR

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jay Payne