National: Jay Payne Pomona Saturday report

Payne picks up first round-win of season in FireIce Funny Car POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 13) -- FireIce racer Jay Payne began the 2010 NHRA season by earning the No. 3 spot in the elimination field of the 50th annual Kragen O'Reilly NHRA...

Payne picks up first round-win of season in FireIce Funny Car

POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 13) -- FireIce racer Jay Payne began the 2010 NHRA season by earning the No. 3 spot in the elimination field of the 50th annual Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona. Payne followed up his solid qualifying performance with a Round 1 victory Saturday night and enters Sunday's final day of racing needing just three more round wins to secure a big win.

Payne, competing in his 305th national event, the most of any driver in the class, kicked off qualifying Thursday with a lot of tire shake, but his excellent effort in Friday's second time trial resulted in a clean 5.599-second pass at 260 mph pass that held as the third best in the class heading into eliminations.

Once eliminations began, the veteran competitor pulled to the starting line next to No. 9 qualifier Steve Gasparrelli and blasted out of the gate first in the FireIce Mustang with a respectable .044 reaction to his opponent's sleepy .309 start. Payne easily got to the finish line first with a 5.664 at 256 mph for the round win.

"We won the first round but we need to go a little quicker," said Payne, who lives in nearby Ontario, Calif. "That was a good, smooth run, but now we need to step it up a little bit because we've got Doug Gordon next round and he went a .59. We're seven-hundredths behind him and that's quite a bit, but we're going to try to find it.

"I've raced Gordon a lot of times. He's a good racer, a good leaver, and if we both do our jobs it will be a good race. It could be within a half a car either way."

Michael Cordani, CEO of GelTech, was enthused in response to Payne's performance and the round win.

"Jay is doing great out there this weekend and we can't wait to see how things shake out tomorrow," Cordani said.

-source: jay payne PR

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jay Payne , Doug Gordon