Column By: RYAN HILL / RPW – FAIR LAWN, NJ – Today’s installment of RPW’s THE TEN is with The Jersey Jet Joey Payne and his son The Tornado Anthony Payne. The Payne’s are a racing family with a legacy going back decades , that has had them racing in various race car disciplines across the country, from supermodifieds to midgets, indoors and outdoors.
1- WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF YOUR NUMBERS?
JOEY: I just bought the Oswego Super Modified, and we will leave the 14 on it.
ANTHONY: I am the #21 in the NEMA Light because it is the famed Scrivani number. My TQ Midget is numbered 45 in remembrance of Gene Angelillo who was a multi time NEMA Championship owner that my father drove for.
2- WHAT TYPE OF RACECAR WOULD YOU LIKE TO DRIVE?
JOEY: I love open cockpit cars like TQ’s, Midgets, and Supers.. But I always wanted to drive a NASCAR modified.
ANTHONY: I would like to race some open wheel dirt cars such as Midgets, and Sprint Cars.
3- WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST RACING MOMENT?
JOEY: I have won tons of races and championships, but seeing my 16 years old son Anthony win the NEMA Lite Championship at the top of my list right now.
ANTHONY: When I was able to race against my father in a NEMA Lite, and be able to battle wheel to wheel with him the whole race… and beat him.
4- WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING RACING MOMENT?
JOEY: Probably when I forgot my racing stuff in New Jersey when I was racing in New Hampshire.
ANTHONY: When I showed up to race in Maine at Wiscasset Speedway and realized that my racing gear was still at home in New Jersey. I had my sister bring my gear bag all the way to Maine for me…. Runs in the family.
5- BEFORE YOU WERE A DRIVER, WHO WAS YOUR FAVORITE DRIVER?
JOEY: Johnny Coy
ANTHONY: Growing up I had two , the first being my father The Jersey Jet Joey Payne, and the other being Tony Stewart.
6- DO YOU HAVE ANY RACE DAY RITUALS OR HABITS?
JOEY: On race day I don’t usually eat or drink much.
ANTHONY: Before every race my Grandmother Payne calls me to wish me good luck, to be safe and have fun!
7- WHAT ONE RACE WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN THE MOST?
JOEY: The Oswego Budweiser 200 Classic.
ANTHONY: I would like to win the Chili Bowl. To win that race is a huge accomplishment due to the talent and the car count.
8- HOW DID YOU START RACING?
JOEY: I started racing karts when I was 14.
ANTHONY: I started when I was young watching my dad race and working on his cars. When I was 7 my dad purchased me a ¼ midget.
9- WHAT IS A BUCKET LIST TRACK FOR YOU TO RACE AT?
JOEY: I would love to race at Lebanon Valley Speedway.
ANTHONY: I would like to race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway due to all of its history, and all of the historic drivers that have raced there.
10- HOW HAS RACING AFFECTED YOUR PERSONAL LIFE?
JOEY: Racing has given me friends all over the country, and that is pretty cool. Right now I have no personal life with 2 of my 3 kids racing as well as me.
ANTHONY: Between racing, school and work there is not much time for any type of personal life.
The Paynes wanted to thank their sponsors for the help and support over the years
Joey: NH3Plus, Dirty Jersey Posse, TRP Photography, Waddell Communications, VanWickle Auto Parts, Dover Brake, J&M Towing, Delphi Coatings, Wild Child Design.
Anthony: TQ #45- NH3Plus, TRP Photography, J&M Towing, WC Designs, VanWickle NAPA, Phil’s Machine, Waddell Communications, Dirty Jersey Posse, Delphi Coatings. NEMA Lite Midget #21- Mike and Lu Jarret, J&M Towing, Dave Shore/VMR Racing, Waddell Comunications, Dirty Jersey Posse, TRP Photos 350 Super Modified #19- NH3 Plus, Paxton Lovejoy LLC, Dirty Jersey Posse, Waddell Communications, Velocita, Robert Pike Construction, L&W Auto Repair, American Racer, Webber Racing, Serenity Property Services, Star Speedway, Race Parts NH, Sherwood Racing Wheels, Sunoco Race Fuels, Puzzled Racing, Rudy’s East Coast Blend.
Anthony adds that he would like to thank his family for always being there for me during the highs and lows and the good and bad of his racing career. “ Thanks to my Dad for being my driving coach, and always working on my cars. My Mom for always bringing me to the track when I didn’t have a license and for always being there for me. My sister Tiffany for always traveling with me and taking some awesome photos, and thank you to my brother Joey for always being supportive. Also, thank you to everyone else that makes this possible for me.