Jay Payne sponsor news 2009-06-06

FireIce Funny Car already making Payne a favorite among firefighters CHICAGO (June 6) -- World champion drag racer Jay Payne commands a lot of attention whenever he races his 260-mph Top Alcohol Funny Car, but since adding FireIce as his title...

FireIce Funny Car already making Payne a favorite among firefighters

CHICAGO (June 6) -- World champion drag racer Jay Payne commands a lot of attention whenever he races his 260-mph Top Alcohol Funny Car, but since adding FireIce as his title sponsor one week ago his popularity has skyrocketed.

"I always heard of the strong bond among firefighters and I can say it's absolutely true," Payne said. "When you come to a town like Chicago with a Fire Department that's 5,000 members strong and a history dating back 175 years, it's pretty humbling. These men and women are my heroes and to represent them and salute them with this FireIce racecar is a real honor."

FireIce is a non-toxic, biodegradable fire suppression gel that firefighters add to the water in pumper trucks, helicopters, fire planes, and handheld extinguishers to help extinguish fires drastically quicker than water alone. The company, a subsidiary of GelTech, a publically traded corporation (OTCBB: GLTC), has committed to making sizable donations to the Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Federation of Burn Foundations as a way of saying thanks to the 300,000 firefighters in this country.

"We're passionate about drag racing, but we're even more passionate about saving the lives of our country's firefighters," said Michael Cordani, CEO of GelTech. "By running a championship-caliber racecar with a true gentleman like Jay Payne at the wheel, we certainly hope to spread the word about our product, but we're also honored to have a chance to salute these first responders that protect us every day."

Payne earned his first national championship in 1995 and has 11 divisional crowns to his credit, including the last five Southeast Division titles. He's also a JEGS Allstars champion and his 36 national event victories ranks him a lofty 24th on NHRA's all-time list, which dates back to 1951.

"I'm more motivated to win than ever before," Payne said. "It's interesting because when you're representing a group like our nation's firefighters, you really do find a way to dig a little deeper to make them proud. It's so cool when a firefighter comes up and shakes your hand and says 'Thanks for what you're doing.' That makes all those late nights worthwhile.

"We're running pretty strong this weekend. It's hard to predict how we'll do on race day because from everything I hear the weather is going to change quite a bit overnight so we may have a clean slate as far as the racetrack goes. It may very well be the team that can adapt the best that leaves town with the trophy. I'd love to be the one hoisting it up for the firefighters."

Through qualifying at the 12th annual United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Payne's FireIce/Valvoline Ford Mustang is fifth with a 5.580-second clocking at 260.86 mph. He will open eliminations against Jeff Burnett, who qualified 12th with a 5.664 at 251.39 mph.

Visit www.FireIce.com for more information.

-credit: jpr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jay Payne