Gainesville: Jay Payne Friday report

Payne powers to No. 1 spot at Gatornationals GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 12) -- Despite a persistent rain and otherwise miserable conditions that greeted Jay Payne and his '68 FireIce/BAE Camaro Pro Mod crew at the start of Friday's action at the...

Payne powers to No. 1 spot at Gatornationals

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 12) -- Despite a persistent rain and otherwise miserable conditions that greeted Jay Payne and his '68 FireIce/BAE Camaro Pro Mod crew at the start of Friday's action at the 41st annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals, ending the day at the top of the charts wasn't too bad.

"I really didn't drive it good, but I'm not going to complain because it went real fast," Payne said of his top qualifying effort. "There was room for improvements on my end, because it was dark and I was really amped up."

Payne said he was a little anxious about the lone run he got on Friday at Gainesville Raceway because he wasn't sure exactly what to expect from it. What he got was a field-best 5.887-second lap at 241.28 mph.

"It was absolutely awesome," Payne said. "Those guys went those low 5.80s in Bradenton or wherever they were testing at. When we tested we never got it out of low gear. Everything on this car is brand new for the most part. That was the first full run we made. The questions in your mind are 'Is the transmission right? Is the chassis right?' The car's been all apart and put back together several times so to see it all come together tonight when it mattered the most, well, we couldn't be thrilled more."

Michael Cordani, CEO of GelTech Solutions and a Florida resident, expected no less than the top-notch performance out of Payne and team owner and crew chief Brad Anderson.

"Jay put on a great show for the firefighters and all of our friends from our home office down in Jupiter," Cordani said. "The weekend is off to a great start and I can't wait to see what else Jay and Brad have in store for us. We couldn't have better marketing partners."

Payne said there may still be a surprise or two left under the hood of his bright red machine.

"There's going to be more rubber on the track tomorrow, which is going to make it better for the guys who run in front of me," Payne said. "If it makes it better for them, it makes it better for us. We just have to make the power to race with them."

In it's second year as Payne's sponsor, FireIce is an environmentally friendly fire suppression gel firefighters add to water in pumper trucks, helicopters, fire planes, and handheld extinguishers to help extinguish fires much quicker than with water alone.

-source: jay payne

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jay Payne