National: Jay Payne Indy ORP final report

Payne finally gets his Indy trophy with victory in FireIce Top Alcohol Funny Car INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 6) -- After 40 years in drag racing, Jay Payne can now officially say he's has done it all after a convincing victory Monday at the sport's ...

Payne finally gets his Indy trophy with victory in FireIce Top Alcohol Funny Car

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 6) -- After 40 years in drag racing, Jay Payne can now officially say he's has done it all after a convincing victory Monday at the sport's biggest event -- the 56th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil.

In earning two world championships, 11 divisional crowns, 39 national event victories, and 69 additional trophies in a variety of classes, Payne had never struck paydirt at O'Reilly Raceway Park until now. In a flash of exhaust and tire smoke, the affable Southern Californian executed a pass of 5.648 seconds at 256.36 mph to dismiss final-round opponent Tony Bartone and ink his name in the record books of "the Big Go."

"We're worn out right now, but feeling awfully good," Payne said. "You know, we won this race before in Pro Mod when it was an exhibition class and I'd been runner up in both Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car here, but this is the first Wally from Indy so it's darn special."

Payne's FireIce-branded Ford Mustang was as consistent as a bracket car in elimination. He opened eliminations with a winning 5.648 at 255.05 mph against Cassie Simonton, who crossed the centerline and was disqualified, and ran an unopposed 5.650 at 256.31 mph in Round 2 when Fred Hagan didn't show up for the race.

Gaining confidence, Payne dipped to a 5.595 at 258.17 mph against semifinalist Chris Foster, who posted a game 5.651 at 254.95 mph, and then slammed the door of Bartone, who over-powered the racetrack and was lost in a cloud of smoke.

"Hagan probably should have beaten us second round but he had a problem," Payne said. "Then we ran our best run of the weekend against Foster in the semifinals. In the final, we raced Bartone because (John) Bojec got thrown out right after he beat Bartone in the semifinals because he was light at the scales. Both Bartone and Bojec are capable, I mean, Bartone qualified with a 5.49 so he should have beat us.

"Frank Manzo isn't here either and he's still the baddest in the land.

"Today we were real lucky and had some real good breaks. I guess this time I would rather be lucky than good."

Each race, Payne and FireIce salute a fire department or fire fighter. This weekend, he honored the brave men and women of the Mount Sinai (N..Y) Fire Department. The fire department has been around since 1930 and is a great asset to its community.

"I had a flight booked for today and I cancelled it for one tomorrow morning and I'm sure glad I did," said Michael Cordani, CEO of FireIce's parent company, GelTech Solutions. "My wife just called and said I would have never forgiven myself if I had left and Jay won without me here. This is the U.S. Nationals! I never would have thought this would work out so well when we started sponsoring Jay. What a driver. What a win."

-source: jay payne PR

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Bartone , Frank Manzo , Jay Payne