Zizzo Racing with Provisional Eighth Day 1 at Pomona
Topics: TJ Zizzo, Auto Club NHRA Nationals
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
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Brandon W. Mudd
POMONA, Calif. – Zizzo Racing has overcome the odds. As a young Top Fuel team in the NHRA Full Throttle Series, they have earned respect from their competitors by qualifying well in every event they enter. TJ Zizzo and his PEAK/Herculiner rail continued that trend Thursday at Auto Club Raceway during day 1 of qualifying for the 46th Annual Auto Club NHRA Finals. It’s the first time the Illinois native has raced at the historic track and he put down a solid ET (4.004 seconds, 280.89 mph), qualifying eighth in a field of 26.
“Man, Pomona!” said the energetic Zizzo after helping his crew tear down the dragster Thursday evening. “Never thought in a million years I would be racing here and here I am. We got the No. 8 qualifier running a four-flat (4.004 ET).”
Nitro teams were concerned over the NHRA’s new oildown rules which states that any oildown would result in the loss of ET or miles per hour for that run as well as a $2,500 fine. Zizzo lost a cylinder during the run, but was able to continue on without creating a stoppage in qualifying.
“We dropped a hole early in the run, but we got it to the finish line much to the dismay of our crew chief, Mike Kern, and clutch specialist, Tony Smith, who were yelling at me, ‘Shut the car off!’” Zizzo said. “I couldn’t hear them, there was just no way, I couldn’t hear them. I knew the car dropped the hole because it (drifted to the) right on me, so I just stuck with it. Needless to say, a good run and a good start to the weekend.”
For video of TJ’s Q1 run Thursday, click HERE.
Larry Dixon earned provisional top qualifier honors Thursday with an ET of 3.813 seconds followed by seven-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher. While Schumacher and Doug Kalitta both ran identical times of 3.840, “Sarge” was given the No. 2 spot and the two bonus points that go along with it due to having the faster speed, 320.58 mph compared to Kalitta’s 316.30 mph.
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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