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Zizzo: Off Season? What Off Season?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing Topics:  TJ Zizzo

Zizzo: Off Season? What Off Season?

Brandon W. Mudd
Zizzo Racing
January 27, 2011

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

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – For a small, independent NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel team like Zizzo Racing, running even a limited schedule is no easy task. All the crewmembers, driver TJ Zizzo included, have families and “real” jobs they have to focus on outside of drag racing. So once the Wallys were given out at Pomona in November, it’s a nice relaxing vacation until the Winternationals in February, right?

Not even close.

As soon as the PEAK/Herculiner rail returned from California after the NHRA season finale last year, the team quickly took it apart and began preparing for the Winternationals in Pomona. Like their appearance in the finals last year, this is the first time Zizzo Racing has entered the season-opener and there’s no time to waste getting the car ready.

“(This offseason) is the most time-consuming part of the season, believe it or not,” Zizzo said from the team’s small shop. “Our guys come here to the shop every Tuesday night and every Sunday, all day, even in the offseason, to continue working on all our parts and pieces preparing us for Pomona. We’ve got a lot of really cool things coming out for Pomona. I look forward to being at Pomona and I look forward to driving our PEAK/Herculiner Top Fuel dragster at Pomona.”

While TJ and the team may be busy, there is still time to look at the accomplishments of 2010 and be proud of the strides that were made. “It’s the offseason, but we had one heck of a season last year,” he said. “Best season ever for Zizzo Racing with an awesome round win at Indy. We had career bests in almost every single event we went to. Low qualifying positions, up there with the big dogs, it was fantastic!”

Zizzo Racing and the PEAK/Herculiner Top Fuel dragster returns to action Feb. 24-27 in Pomona, Calif., for the 51st Annual Kragen/O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals. For tickets to the season-opener of the NHRA’s 60th anniversary celebration, visit NHRATix.com.

For more on Zizzo Racing, check out ZizzoRacing.com and their official page on Facebook. Race fans can also follow the team on Twitter at Twitter.com/ZizzoRacing and on YouTube 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.

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