HOLLY SPRINGS, Ms. — Todd Payne has truly been electric in his performance at the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit SuperSeries World Finals.
For the second straight year, the Yadkinville, N.C., driver was the best finishing Electric Vehicle racer at the World Finals. He also advanced all the way to the Sportsman final, besting his efforts from the previous year when he made it to the semifinal round.
While he lost to Sportsman champion Larry Doty after going under his dial-in time, Payne had already captured the Electric Vehicle title.
Payne, representing Farmington Dragway, won a battle of Testa drivers as his final EV opponent, Geoff Grafton from Loxahatchee, Fla., fouled at the start. Payne went ahead and posted a solid run of 7.692 seconds at 90.02 mph against a 7.68 dial-in.
He kept on advancing in eliminations, winning a close race in the semifinals against home track driver Brad Davis at Holly Springs Motorsports. Payne, just .001 better at the tree, once again was solid with a 7.689-second pass at 90.07 mph with a 7.67 dial-in. Payne credited the competition at his own home track for making him such a consistent racer.
“Team Farmington, the level of competitors at my local track, got me in that zone that you have to be,” Payne said. “You have to be 20 or better with these pro guys. When you come to the World Finals, you have to be a pro.”
Payne has been a multiple-time champion at Farmington and other tracks on both two wheels and four wheels. He has been a winner in Mod (No Box) and Motorcycle competition as well as the EV class. His prize package for the IHRA World Finals included $4,000 from Summit Racing Equipment as the Sportsman runner-up.
Perhaps the most impressive part of his feat, he didn’t do anything special with the car, which doubles as his daily driver. In fact, it was basically the same as when it came straight off a dealer’s lot.
“The car did well today on a stock setup right off a used car dealership,” Payne said. “This is the same dial-in that I drive to work. It’s the same Michelin tires. I do nothing, but lower the tires a little where I can see better out of the right side. Normally, I don’t do as well as night. All in all, God is good.”