Payne, FireIce Mustang ready for start of Pro Mod season
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Veteran drag racer Jay Payne is rolling out the FireIce Mustang for what he expects to be an adventurous Get Screened America Pro Mod season starting with the 42nd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals March 11-13.
Rule changes in the series have taken away power from supercharged cars like the FireIce Mustang, so Payne and crew chief Brad Anderson experimented with some new parts during a test in Valdosta, Ga.
"We tried a torque converter instead of a clutch," Payne said. "We made nine attempts and made it down the track three times. It showed promise, but we don't have enough data to use it this weekend, so we'll go back to the tried-and-true stuff this weekend."
Payne said he expects to see the turbocharged cars in the class run the quickest ETs, but is counting on his car's consistency to propel him to a deep run in the season opener.
"We'll see how the weather goes and how many shots we get," Payne said. "It' been a long winter and everybody has new rules to work with, so what happens Friday will tell us a lot."
Rule changes or not, Payne is ready for another exciting season with the FireIce team.
"Pro Mod is just an awesome class," Payne said. "Plus I get the honor of representing 1.1 million firefighters from around the country and bringing awareness to worthy causes such as The Leary Firefighters Foundation and Angel Faces."
Michael Cordani, the CEO of FireIce's parent company, GelTech Solutions, said a Payne victory would cap an exciting week for GelTech and its employees.
"Our headquarters are here in Florida so we're especially excited to see Jay run in our back yard," Cordani said. "Earlier this week, FireIce received approval for use by the U.S. Forestry Service to combat wildfires. A good weekend from Jay would send everyone here over the top."
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. Aside from supporting Payne's racing efforts, GelTech, a publicly traded corporation (OTCBB: GLTC), is a corporate partner to the Fallen Firefighters Foundation, which helps firefighters families in need.
-source: jay payne PR