FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Brandon W. Mudd
Zizzo Earns Upset Round Win at Home Against Massey
JOLIET, Ill. – TJ “David” Zizzo came in to Sunday at Route 66 Raceway qualified 16th, facing top qualifier Spencer “Goliath” Massey. Massy, by the way, had 40 consecutive runs without any problems, going A-to-B perfectly.
Forty-one wasn’t meant to be.
Zizzo and the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel team earned a popular upset win in Round 1 of eliminations at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals against the heavily-favored Massey, who smoked the tires during the pass. It was the first time the two have been paired against one another in NHRA competition.
“We’re No. 16 qualifier this weekend,” said Zizzo, a native of nearby Lincolnshire, Ill. “We didn’t expect to do that. We expect to be middle of the pack somewhere, we’re a middle-of-the-pack team. Then you have to go up against Spencer Massey. Great driver, great team. I knew it was going to be a tough race. I knew we were going to need a touch of luck.
“The thing is, we create our own luck. We went A-to-B and that’s what you have to do on a hot, slimy track. It was a great, great feeling, crossing that finish line and seeing that win light. It felt great.”
Zizzo’s father, team owner and former Top Alcohol dragster pilot Tony Zizzo, echoed his son’s sentiments and was visibly pleased with the efforts of his team. “I think it’s fantastic,” he said while helping the team tear down the car. “Everyone did a great job on the car. We needed that. Everyone said, ‘Yeah, yeah, Massey’s due to lose,’ but you know what, we need this win to pump us up a little bit. We don’t need it, we deserve it. That’s how I look at it. We deserved everything we got today.”
Unfortunately, the potential Cinderella story was halted in the second round against Team Kalitta driver David Grubnic, who went on to the class finals later in the day. Once again, Zizzo was facing a driver he had never raced before.
“The second round came along and we had to replace an engine,” Zizzo said. “We turned the car around well, the team worked together well like they always do. We got up there, we had Grubnic, we had lane choice, and we just didn’t do exactly what we planned to do. So we went out there and rattled the tires. We learned a lot and we’ll put that towards Indy and we’re looking forward to it.”
Unless additional funding is procured, Zizzo Racing and the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner rail will not race again until the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals near Indianapolis Labor Day weekend.
Fans of TJ Zizzo and Zizzo Racing can find updates and photos of the PEAK/Herculiner Top Fuel team by checking out ZizzoRacing.com, Twitter.com/ZizzoRacing, and Facebook.com/ZizzoRacing. Videos of TJ and Zizzo Racing can be found at YouTube.com/TJZizzo.
About Zizzo Racing:
Zizzo Racing has been involved in drag racing at the top levels for more than 30 years. Based in Lincolnshire, Ill. and owned by Tony Zizzo, the team started racing in 1980 in the Top Alcohol Dragster class, moving to nitro with TJ in 2004 after earning his class license. In 2007, TJ Zizzo finished second in the final IHRA standings and now competes on a part-time basis in the NHRA Full Throttle Series.
About PEAK/Old World Industries:
PEAK® Performance Products are marketed and distributed by Old World Industries, which is among the largest privately held companies competing in the automotive aftermarket. The Northbrook, Illinois based company enjoys a presence in the automotive product markets, energy exploration, and chemical manufacturing in more than 50 countries worldwide. Old World's Product offering includes PEAK® Antifreeze; PEAK® Windshield Wash and Wiper Blades; PEAK® Performance Motor Oil; a full line of PEAK® Electronics; HERCULINER® Truck Bed Liner Kits; and SIERRA®, the safer antifreeze. For more information, please visit www.peakauto.com.
TJ Zizzo is the driver of the PEAK/Herculiner NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel dragster and his family-owned team is based in Lincolnshire, Ill. TJ has raced his entire life and runs Zizzo Enterprises, Inc., when he's not racing. He and his wife, Jen, have two children -- Maddie and Nick -- and spends what little free time he has golfing and riding motorcycles. Follow TJ on Twitter at Twitter.com/TJZizzo and on Facebook at Facebook.com/TJZizzo.
Owner: Tony Zizzo
Crew Chief: Mike Kern
Clutch Specialist: Tony Smith
Utilities/Tires: Mike Adams
Event Coordinator: Cathie Gallo
Cylinder Heads: Rick Dale
Car Chief: Rick Messmore
Bottom End/Motor Assembly: Ryan Ramos
Clutch/Car Assembly: Chris Schneider
Cylinder Head (right): Joe Cluts
Utility: Doug Wikell
Public/Media Relations: Brandon W. Mudd