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Maiden Debut of Madison Payne (1 Viewer)

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Atlanta - Madison Payne, a third-generation racer and the daughter of racing standouts Jay and Shelly Payne, made her debut this past weekend at the Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals. Madison drove Duane Shields' Muscle Milk sponsored A/Fuel Dragster in the Top Alcohol Dragster class. "The Southern Nationals was a good chance to get Madison acclimated with the car and work with the team" Duane said.

Madison of Claremont, California was one of six female drivers in the field and qualified in the eighth position with a respectable 5.34 ET at 276 MPH.

In round one, Madison matched up against Mick Steele who qualified seventh. As the lights came down on the tree, Steele was out of the gate first with a .81 reaction time to Madison's .95. Just a few feet off the starting line, Madison smoked the tires and got off the throttle. Steele, in the other lane, was on a clean run and took the win. "I felt the car lose traction and got off the throttle right away. I then thought darn, the race is over" Madison said. She then explained, "We were up there forever and it was hot. There were some delays in the top alcohol funny car class and the track wasn't the best. We were the first pair out but had we been back in line further Duane would have had the opportunity to make some last-minute changes" she said.

Duane added, "It's really tricky and difficult when you only get two qualifying runs but she knew what to do. After the car lost traction she got off the throttle and saved us parts".

Duane went on to announce that Madison is a permanent member of the Muscle Milk team and will drive periodically throughout the season. "We are excited to have her on our team. She does a great job for our sponsors and the team. We will take this experience and take it to Houston where she will drive next" he said. In the meantime, Duane will drive the Muscle Milk car at the NHRA NGK NTK Four Wide Nationals in Charlotte scheduled for May 14-16.

Duane would like to thank Muscle Milk, Cleanboost, SRI, GRP Connecting Rods, NGK Spark Plugs, and Brad Anderson Enterprises for their continued support of both Duane and Madison during the 2021 season.
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