Drag racing champion Jay Payne arrives at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona for this weekend's season-opening 53rd annual O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals with a lengthy contract extension from longtime sponsor FireIce. The deal keeps the FireIce brand on Payne's Peak Motor Oil Top Alcohol Funny Car as a major associate and continues the title sponsorship of Payne's FireIce Pro Mod car through 2015.
"Jay's our guy," said Michael Cordani, CEO of GelTech Solutions (OTBQB: GLTC), the parent company of FireIce. "Since Jay got the deal with Peak for his Funny Car we've been approached by several other teams about helping them but the reality is we never left Jay. We just gave up the primary position so Jay could be better funded. We've still been on his Funny Car, and of course the Pro Mod car too, and we're staying with Jay moving forward."
Payne's relationship with FireIce began midway through the 2008 season when a title sponsorship was unveiled on his Top Alcohol Funny Car at the Kansas race. They later added the Pro Mod car when Payne decided to contest both classes.
A big reason for the success of the partnership, aside from the numerous trophies Payne has scored for the FireIce brand, is the coast-to-coast bond Payne has made with many of the nation's 1.1 million firefighters. Payne regularly hosts groups of firefighters in his pit area and has used his racecar to salute various first responders across the country. Payne car also is branded with FireIce's favorite charities -- the Leary Firefighters Foundation, Angel Faces and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
"The brotherhood of firefighters is something we all hear about but over these past five years I've been embraced by these heroes and it's really changed my outlook on life," Payne said. "These men and women are so selfless in their dedication to protecting us and they should never be taken for granted. We've experienced the extreme highs of having the opportunity to honor some great heroes, and we've also shared in the sorry of a fallen brother that was lost in the line of duty by carrying his name and memory with us on the racecars. It's been humbling to say the least.
"Michael Cordani and everyone else at FireIce truly put others before themselves. They genuinely care about the firefighters out there and that's what drives them to create their products. By the way, their products are revolutionary and its important we keep spreading that message as well. I know I have the best sponsor in the world."
FireIce is a patent-pending fire suppressant used for direct attack of fires as well as a medium-term retardant for structure protection. FireIce, a GelTech Solutions product, can be used in all types of apparatus such as fire extinguishers, pumper trucks and aerial units for wildfires, as well as home defense units for personal home protection.
"We're thrilled to know that FireIce will be with us for many more years," Payne said. "The best way I know how to say thank you is to go out there and win Pomona this weekend, so that's what we're going to try and do."