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Zizzo Racing’s Dale a Proud Veteran

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing Topics:  Rick Dale

Zizzo Racing’s Dale a Proud Veteran

Brandon W. Mudd
Zizzo Racing
November 11, 2010

TJ Zizzo
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
Public Relations: 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


Brandon W. Mudd

POMONA, Calif. – Motorsports is filled with patriotism and love for America’s defenders.

Whether it’s the Army’s sponsorship of NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, the Navy’s past sponsorship of NASCAR teams such as JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnardt, Jr., or the American Drag Racing League (ADRL) and their partnership with the National Guard, the military has a strong presence.

In addition to being in the stands, veterans are also in the pits working on some of the fastest machines on earth and Zizzo Racing is no different. Ricky Dale, a native of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., is the cylinder head specialist on the PEAK/Herculiner Top Fuel rail and a ten-year veteran of the U.S. Navy.

“I joined the Navy when I was 17,” Dale said while preparing TJ Zizzo’s dragster prior to the first qualifying session at Auto Club Raceway Thursday. “I was in for ten years, went to the Mediterranean, I was an East Coast Sailor. (Served on) carriers, submarine tenders, loved it. Sometimes, I wish I would’ve stayed in!”

Dale said his respect for those who serve continues to this day. “I’m proud every time I see that American flag with the (color guard on Sundays) at the starting line. The guys in uniform walking through the airport when we go to the races, just want to say thank you, thanks for everything you’re doing.”

To see Ricky in action in the PEAK/Herculiner pits talking about his days as a Sailor, click HERE.

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.

NHRA nitro class qualifying is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. local time Friday with qualifying continuing Saturday starting at Noon local time for Top Fuel and Funny Cars. Eliminations will begin Sunday at 11 a.m. local time.

Coverage of the 46th Annual Auto Club NHRA Finals is being carried by ESPN and ESPN2. Qualifying will air Sunday at 12:30 a.m. CDT on ESPN2 with eliminations airing on ESPN at 11 p.m. CDT. Eliminations will also be carried live online at ESPN3.com. For information about the event or to purchase tickets, visit NHRA.com or call 800-884-NHRA (6472).


About Zizzo Racing:
This year marks Zizzo Racing's 30th year in drag racing. Based in Lincolnshire, Ill. and owned by Tony Zizzo, started racing in 1980 in the Top Alcohol Dragster class, moving to nitro 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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