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Sun, 3 Oct 1999, 03:53 PM

Payne Crash Stops Eliminations
By Ed Dykes

Action On Hold For Mist, Now

TOPEKA, Kan. -- Federal-Mogul Funny Car racer Jay Payne crashed during the second round of eliminations today at Heartland Park Topeka, and during the resulting cleanup the mist begin falling enough so that the NHRA officials have temporarily suspended action at the Advance Auto Parts Nationals.

Payne's Camaro, running in the right lane, took a hard left turn for no apparent reason at about 500', swerving across directly in front of Marc White's Firebird and pretty much straight into the left side wall. White did a great job of driving around Payne's machine, dodging right into the right lane where he crossed the finish line.

Payne's Camaro body came off the chassis when it hit the left wall, flying straight up into the air, and the car careened off the wall and back across the lanes to contact the right side concrete just before the finish. The car stayed upright, slid to a stop, and the Safety Safari was on the scene instantly, and the safety equipment apparently did its job as we see Jay climb from the car and into the ambulance.

He'll be taken to the hospital for a checkout, but it appears that the veteran driver escaped serious injury after a very harrowing crash. White gets credit for the win, and should get extra credit for the masterful driving job he did in missing Payne's errant mount.

The jet track dryers are poised for action and we expect that the Safety Safari will resume their efforts shortly. We'll be back with additional updates as the conditions warrant.

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