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Schnitz Racing


Vol. 3, Issue 3

Person of the Week: Darion Payne
By Keith S. Kizer


Born February 28, 1983 in Montross, Virginia, Darion Antione Payne grew up in the small east side of Virginia nestled between Richmond and DC where there was nothing to do but play sports or video games. One glorious day, Darion’s cousin Derek showed up on a 4-wheeler. Darion would sit for hours and watch him ride until he was finally invited to ride on the back (not that we condone riding on the back of an ATV) of the 4-wheeler. One day Darion finally worked up the nerve to ask his cousin to teach him to ride, which he did, and Darion said, “I never looked back after that.”

Darion got his first bike at the age of 8, a Yamaha 80, but had no clue how to use a clutch. In order to teach himself to ride he would go out to a long dirt road and throw the clutch away giving him plenty of room to learn to shift; and crash if needed.

After mastering the 80 Darion graduated to a Honda 200 enduro at the age of 10. His stepfather always said, “That boy is fearless and he scares me when he rides that bike.” Darion said, “My stepdad would also say that I was going to be a great rider one day because I wasn’t scared to do anything on that dirt bike.” At only four feet tall he finally graduated to a Honda 250 but could barely touch the ground.

Darion’s uncle Butch Shelton, and Darius Carey introduced him to motorcycle drag racing. Darion said, “They had drag bikes with wheelie bars.” Wow, practically cavemen. Just a side note here to all those new world racers who where born after 1980. We cavemen used to street race before being introduced to drag racing and back in the Stone Age, every class was a wheelie bar class. If you really want to go fast you need two things, a car tire and wheelie bars. The truth is we old guys are flat out jealous of street bikes that own a record only one and a half seconds off McBride’s Top Fuel record. Anyway, Darion used to go to Colonial Beach Dragway and MIR with his uncles and soon he set his goal of becoming a great motorcycle drag racer himself.

Once Darion graduated from high school and got a job he purchased his first street bike, a Suzuki SRAD 750. He loved that bike with its custom blue paint job and chrome wheels but once his cousin showed up on a brand new GSXR1000 and let him ride it, Darion found a new love and one year later moved up to his own GSXer. The day he bought it, he took it to the track and with stock height he ran 6.9’s in the eighth. Once he lowered it he went a 6.32 on his first pass. With instant success at the local eighth mile track, Darion decided to take it to the quarter mile. Right off the trailer he ran a 9.52 which caught the attention of Norman Jackson who suggested that Darion try running 1000 SuperSport.

Not having the money to run a full SuperSport package nor travel to all the AMA events, Darion had to put those plans off for another day. In November 2006 that day came when he met Mike Mace at a MIROCK event. Mike gave Darion a chance to showcase his talents on his grudge bike. The next season, Darion became a force to be reckoned with in the grudge racing world. Darion won 75% of every race he entered. That gave him a recognizable name on the MIROCK circuit.

The following season, MIROCK started their new Real Street class, which Darion got a ride on Shelby Barnes’ HTP Performance built GSXR 1000. Luckily for his new team the first race at Rockingham got rained out because the bike was not ready. They arrived at the second race, again at Rockingham, early to give the bike its first shakedown passes during a test session. The class record was held by Norman Jackson at a 8.30, Darion qualified #1 and reset the record to 8.18. At the next event at MIR he set the MPH record at 172mph. He ended up #4 in the points.

The 2009 season was spent setting up a new bike with Mike Mace which they repeated another #4 plate in 2010. For this coming season Darion is either going to make the jump to Pro Street or make a run for the MIROCK Real Street championship using power by Lee Performance for the Mace Motorsports Team. Whatever he chooses to do, this young man is making steady progression in the sport of drag racing and his stepdad can rest assured, Darion has turned out to be a great rider.

Other Areas of Interest
Residence: Ft. Washington, MD

Occupation: Case Administrator

Home track: Maryland International Raceway

Team Name: Mace Motorsports

Crew Members: Mike Mace, Donald Actie, Ed Murphy,Derek Shelton, William Fulcher, Jr., William Shelton, Rickey Gorham, Demetrice Carey

Sponsors: Lee’s Performance, Brock Performance, T & G Photos, Bike Paparazzi

2006 Fast by Gast Spring Classic Street ET Winner
2008 FBR Shop Bike National #1 Qualifer Mirock Real Street
2008 Honda-Suzuki of Sanford Spring Bike Open Winner Real Street
2008 Mirock #4 Plate Holder Real Street
2010 Mirock #4 Plate Holder Real Street

History of racing bikes and classes: Real Street, Grudge, Pro Et, Quick 32, Street ET

Current race bike / class: 2008 Hayabusa 1300/Real Street

Goals: To be a class Champion, and a NHRA PSM rider

Interest outside of racing: Basketball, Football & Family

Favorite foods: Pizza, Chicken

Favorite movie: Love & Basketball, Juice, Harlem Nights, House Party

Daily driver: Chevy Tahoe, Honda Accord

First motorcycle: Yamaha 80 (dirt), 1998 Suzuki SRAD 750 (street)

Hero: My Step Dad William Fulcher, Sr. & Mom Bonita P. Fulcher

If you are interested in being featured as person of the week, contact Keith Kizer


Schnitz Motorsports Inc. - 222 N 3rd St - Decatur, In 46733 - 260.728.9457