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Zizzo Racing Unveils New Kenny Youngblood Paint Scheme for ‘11

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Zizzo Racing Unveils New Kenny Youngblood Paint Scheme for ‘11

Brandon W. Mudd
Zizzo Racing
February 24, 2011

Drag Racing

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. –A rising star in the NHRA Full Throttle Series and a drag racing legend came together Thursday at the 51st Annual Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals and the result is one of the hottest paint schemes in racing. To celebrate his 45th year in drag racing, legendary artist Kenny Youngblood designed the new look for TJ Zizzo’s PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner Top Fuel dragster, which was unveiled prior to the first round of qualifying of 2011, the NHRA’s 60th season.

The idea was originally hatched after the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis last year between Youngblood, Zizzo, and Old World Industries’ brand manager Brian Bohlander, in an effort to combine drag racing’s old school and new school eras.

“It’s a dream come true for me to not only be on one of these cars, but for it to be on TJ Zizzo’s car with the PEAK brand,” Youngblood said during a press conference at Auto Club Raceway here prior to qualifying. “TJ’s one of those guys, you meet him and you feel like you’ve known him for ten years. (Zizzo Racing) is just a great team and that makes it all the better. I’m just honored and thrilled to be involved.”

Zizzo Racing is currently scheduled to run six NHRA Full Throttle Series events after the Winternationals. For those events, along with any additional races that may be added to the schedule, the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner rail will carry a special logo honoring Youngblood’s four-and-a-half decades in the sport. All the team uniforms will also carry the logo. In addition, different decals will be added over the course of the season, displaying some of Youngblood’s favorite paintings.

For Zizzo, who grew up in the sport watching his dad, Tony, race Top Alcohol dragsters, it has been a special project to work with an artist who many consider the best in drag racing. “I think over the years, in every facility I’ve been in, in every shop I’ve been in, I’ve seen Kenny’s artwork,” said Zizzo, an Illinois native. “But even more than Kenny’s artwork, it’s been his conversations that mean the most to me. When I’m on the phone with him, I don’t talk, I listen, and I come away having learned so much.

“But having said that, when I get into that car today and get strapped in in front of all the fans and media and they see that paint scheme, I will be honored to have (Kenny’s) insignia, (his) touch, everything (he) wanted to put into this, riding on this car and riding in my heart.”

Taking Youngblood’s original rendering and working with it to truly stand out among all the cars competing in the NHRA was Kevin McNeiley, a graphic artist with Old World Industries. Freelance Imaging in Indianapolis took McNeiley’s graphics and made it a reality with their expert wrapping of the 8,000 horsepower, nitro-burning machine.

“This is one of the most exciting things we’ve done in drag racing and we’ve been in this sport for a long time,” Bohlander said. “We would just like to thank TJ for all he does and thank Kenny for being a part of this project. It’s a great program for us.”

To see more of Youngblood’s work, visit YoungbloodArt.com. For information on PEAK and the entire line of PEAK products, head to PEAKAntiFreeze.com.

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.

Kenny Youngblood 45 Years Logo Right to Left:  TJ Zizzo, Kenny Youngblood, and Old World Industries Brand Manager, Brian Bohlander
View photo of Kenny Youngblood and TJ Zizzo - 97KB
Kenny Youngblood TJ Zizzo Paint Scheme Mockup View photo of Kenny Youngblood TJ Zizzo Paint Scheme Mockup - 52KB
Kenny Youngblood 45 Years Logo View photo of Kenny Youngblood 45 Years Logo - 97KB


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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