St. Louis: Jay Payne preview

Fresh off Vegas win, Payne looking for more in St. Louis ST. LOUIS (April 30) -- Less than two weeks ago in Las Vegas, FireIce racer Jay Payne celebrated his 105th victory on the NHRA tour when he drove his Ford Mustang to the Top Alcohol Funny...

Fresh off Vegas win, Payne looking for more in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (April 30) -- Less than two weeks ago in Las Vegas, FireIce racer Jay Payne celebrated his 105th victory on the NHRA tour when he drove his Ford Mustang to the Top Alcohol Funny Car title. Now he's hoping his run of good fortune carries to Gateway International Raceway and his '68 Chevrolet Camaro Pro Mod racecar as he contends for the title of the 14th annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals.

"Pro Mod is a different animal," Payne said. "It's an incredibly tough class, which makes it incredibly exciting to race. You look at the first race of the year and four of the top 10 guys from 2009 can't even qualify for the event. Then we go to Houston and three of the people ahead of us in the points don't qualify. It's crazy."

Payne has arguably the best car in the class at the moment. He was second quickest at the season opener in Florida and then posted the quickest pass in history in Houston when he went 5.813 at 246.21 mph.

"We've been running great; we just haven't won yet," Payne said. "The first two races of the year were awesome. We've just had little things getting in the way of us winning. In Houston, we were way ahead against (Round 1 opponent) Melanie Troxel and the darn transmission broke. Those kinds of things are pretty rare, but they do happen.

"St. Louis is a great racetrack and the conditions can be very agreeable at times, but we're not here looking to duplicate the (record) runs we were making in Houston. Our focus is never on setting records; it's on winning races. That's what we're planning on doing this weekend."

Although he'll be piloting the same powerful racecar he drove to back-to-back victories in the final two events of 2009, Payne already is excited about transitioning to his brand-new 2010 FireIce Ford Mustang, which was just delivered to the team from Don Ness Racecraft in Minnesota. The group plans to stay after this race and test the new car.

"It's a beautiful hot rod and there's nothing better for a driver than getting in a new car and running it down the track," Payne said. "It's just as exciting now as when you get your first street car when you were a kid."

-source: jay payne

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Jay Payne