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Payne hoping to extend impressive streak in FireIce Top Alcohol Funny Car REYNOLDS, Ga. (Oct. 16) -- For the last five years in a row veteran drag racer Jay Payne has hoisted the Top Alcohol Funny Car champion's trophy in the NHRA's Southeast ...

Payne hoping to extend impressive streak in FireIce Top Alcohol Funny Car

REYNOLDS, Ga. (Oct. 16) -- For the last five years in a row veteran drag racer Jay Payne has hoisted the Top Alcohol Funny Car champion's trophy in the NHRA's Southeast Division. After this weekend's season-ending Division 2 race at Silver Dollar Raceway, the driver of the FireIce Ford Mustang hopes to do it again.

Payne enters the event 53 points behind current leader Mickey Ferro. To clinch another championship, Payne needs to reach the final round and hope Ferro is knocked out early on race day.

"We're going to run the best we can and see what happens," Payne said. "Mickey's a great racer and he's had a solid year but as long as we're in the fight, we're going to do everything we can to keep the Division 2 championship in this FireIce camp. It would obviously help a great deal if we can face Mickey early on race day and control our own destiny. We'll have to see how it all shakes out."

Should he manage to maintain his crown, it would be the 12th divisional championship of Payne's career. He also won the national championship in 1995 and has 36 national event victories to his credit, ranking him 24th on the all-time list.

Payne arrives at Silver Dollar Raceway fresh off a big victory at the fourth annual Virginia NHRA Nationals, where he successfully defended the Pro Mod title he won a year ago. In Georgia, the Pro Mod car will stay in the trailer so he can concentrate his efforts on his FireIce Top Alcohol Funny Car.

"Virginia was a lot of fun," Payne said. "The conditions were so good that every driver seemed to be running career best numbers every time they went down the track. It was a real shootout and we managed to survive the longest and win the race. Any win is great and it's especially neat for FireIce because it was their first win in Pro Mod."

FireIce, which began supporting Payne's racing efforts earlier this year, is a non-toxic, environmentally-friendly fire suppression gel that firefighters add to water in pumper trucks, helicopters, fire planes, and handheld extinguishers to help put out fires much quicker than with water alone.

"We picked up 1.1 million fans when we joined forces with FireIce because that's how many firefighters we have in this country," Payne said. "It's humbling, and a huge honor, to represent them and the Fallen Firefighters Foundation with both of our racecars. We've earned them a win in each car. Now it's time to win another one and maybe get them a championship as well."

Michael Cordani, CEO of Geltech, says his company's involvement with Payne has been well received.

"To see the firefighters reaction to Jay's racecars is pretty special," Cordani said. "These men and women are heroes and they need to be recognized. Having this car for them just feels right. We couldn't be happier to be associated with Jay and we're all wishing him the best of luck this weekend."

-credit: jpPR

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jay Payne