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Zizzo, PEAK Racing Continues Improvements at Brainerd

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing Topics:  Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals

Zizzo, PEAK Racing Continues Improvements at Brainerd

Brandon Mudd
High Side Media
Zizzo Racing
August 16, 2013


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:
Brandon W. Mudd
PR@HighSideMedia.com

TJ Zizzo
BRAINERD, Minn. – With success comes new expectations and TJ Zizzo and his PEAK Motor Oil Top Fuel team are discovering that.

Over the last two races, Zizzo has set a new personal best ET of 3.821 seconds at Sonoma and raced in his first semi-final round at Seattle. Friday at NHRA Mello Yello Series Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, the Chicago-based team ran a 3.852 ET in the day’s final round of qualifying. In the past, that would have been cause for celebration. Now that they know what they’re capable of, that’s no longer the case.

“That was supposed to be an .81,” Zizzo said after the run. “We started losing holes at 800 feet, so obviously, we lost speed. It’s really amazing when you’re disappointed at an .85. We used to be jumping up and down like animals at the starting line for an .85.

“It’s an easy fix. It happened down track, (crew chief) Mike Kern will come by and do his magic and everything will be just fine. It was humming along pretty good at the beginning and believe me, I felt it. I was right with (Tony) Schumacher (who was in the other lane) and then at about 850 feet or so, the belt came off.”

Team clutch specialist and longtime Zizzo Racing veteran Tony “TS” Smith said one of the main factors in the team’s recent successes has been leaving a conservative attitude behind.

“I would say it’s just being more aggressive early in the run,” he said. “We’re more consistent and keeping parts damage down. We’ve mainly been trying to keep the engine right and haven’t messed with the clutch for about a year.”

Zizzo’s run puts in them in 12th going into Saturday, which allows them to keep today’s ET and gives them a stronger shot at making the show for Sunday’s finals. But the second-generation racer said there’s always room to improve.

“That’s a huge help,” Zizzo said. “Twelfth is not where we want to be and it’s not where an .81 would’ve put us, but it’s still pretty stout. It would be nice to be better, but we can improve tomorrow and that’s what we’re going to do.”

After the track temperature cooled down in the late afternoon for the second round of qualifying, Clay Millican raced to the top of the charts with a track record-tying 3.773-second ET at 326.63 mph.

TJ in the Media: Zizzo was featured in the Seattle Finish Line edition of PRN’s Nitro Notes thanks to his semi-finals appearance. Check out his comments HERE. TJ is also scheduled to appear on RacingFanRadio.com Saturday morning at 9 a.m. CDT. To hear the interview, visit the site and click on the LISTEN LIVE link.

Fans of TJ Zizzo and Zizzo Racing can find updates and photos of the PEAK/Herculiner Top Fuel team by checking out ZizzoRacing.com, Instagram.com/ZizzoPEAK, Twitter.com/TJZizzo, and Facebook.com/TJZizzo.

Zizzo Racing and the PEAK Motor Oil Top Fuel dragster are racing at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minn., for the 32nd Annual NHRA Nationals. Saturday’s qualifying is at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. with Sunday’s eliminations scheduled for 11 a.m.

-ZR-


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.



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