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Zizzo Finds Red Light District in Houston

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing
Topics:  TJ Zizzo, O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals

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

Zizzo Finds Red Light District in Houston

Brandon W. Mudd
Zizzo Racing
May 1, 2011


Brandon W. Mudd

BAYTOWN, Texas – An ET of 3.885 seconds run in Q2 on Friday put PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel pilot TJ Zizzo seventh in the field of 16 at the 24th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway. A red light .163 seconds on the wrong side of good sent the veteran drag racer home early.

The Illinois native faced Doug Kalitta, whom he beat in an upset at the 2010 U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. The hot, humid weather was problematic Saturday and was no different Sunday as Kalitta struggled to get down the track and popped the parachutes before the finish line. But it was for naught; what should have been Zizzo Racing’s first round win of the year became their second first-round exit.

“I really feel like I let our team down and our sponsor down,” said a despondent Zizzo after the round. “We had some guests in our pit this morning from Old World Industries (the parent company of PEAK) and it was really great hanging out with them. That made it all the harder to red light it.

“We beat Doug on a holeshot last year and that’s where my mind was. I knew the track was going to be challenging and that we were going to need every advantage we could get. I jumped the gun and now we’re going home.”

The next scheduled race for Zizzo and the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner team is the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals at his home track of Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. For more information or for tickets, visit them on the Web at Route66Raceway.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.


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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