ALBANY, NY (WWLP) – Anthony Payne went from the 24th starting position and took the lead from Andy Jankowiak with nine laps to go to win the 40 lap TQ Midget Indoor race Friday night at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY. The 18-year-old Payne talked to 22News about the win on Friday night.
“Last few laps just cruising around.. Keeping your mind straight. Don’t make any mistakes. Hit your marks every single lap.” Anthony Payne said.
Once Payne took the lead, it was very emotional for him. He knew he had to stay calm and not overwhelm himself. Payne had to go through the B Main to qualify for the main feature.
For Payne, it’s always been a dream since he was a little kid watching his dad Joey “Jersey Jet” Payne running around Atlantic City and every indoor track since he can remember, and to be on the list with the elite drivers, for example his father Joey, along with Ted Christopher and others.
Once Payne got inside the top 10, he felt he was racing with the big names, such as Anthony Sesley and Andy Jankowiak. Payne knew to hold his line.
“I’ll be happy to make the feature. Now I am in the top five and then I am in the top three and they get together and I am in the lead. I could win this thing.” Anthony Payne Said
Payne told 22News that emotions were definitely high on Friday night.
“I know my dad was definitely in the infield going nuts. He’s going nuts whether I am leading the race or running last.” Payne said.
Joey Payne told 22News he was proud of his son’s win on Friday night.
“He started 24th and missed a lot of crashes but actually drove around a lot of guys. He’s kind of underrated because he’s my kid. He proved tonight he is the real deal and he could drive these cars. We just had bad luck.” Joey Payne Said
Matt Janisch finished second and Tim Nye finished third. NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Justin Bonsignore is the point leader heading into Saturday nigh’s 40 lap TQ Midget finale and has to finish 11th or better to clinch the championship.
Steve Svanda out of Allentown, PA took down the 25 Slingshot feature event.
The Indoor Auto Racing season will conclude Saturday night here at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY with the TQ Midgets, Slingshots and Champ Karts. The action will begin at 7 p.m