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Sweet Home Chicago for Zizzo Racing, PEAK

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing
Topics:  TJ Zizzo, O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 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

Sweet Home Chicago for Zizzo Racing, PEAK

Brandon W. Mudd
Zizzo Racing
July 5, 2011


Brandon W. Mudd

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – There’s something about a home game.

This weekend at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, TJ Zizzo and the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel team will be front and center at their home track for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals. The majority of the team, along with primary sponsor PEAK and newly-signed marketing partner INDAK, are natives of the area and looking forward to winning rounds in front of their friends and families.

“We’re so stoked to be racing so close to home at Route 66 Raceway,” Zizzo said. “They’ve been great to us and have really made the track feel like our house. With all the friends and family we’re going to have there, it’s going to be a party!”

Also supporting Zizzo Racing this weekend is legendary drag racing artist Kenny Youngblood, who designed the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner paint scheme on TJ’s rail this year. Each race, Youngblood features some of his legendary paintings that honor some of the biggest names in the history of drag racing. In Joliet, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits receives that privilege.

“Kenny knows a lot of people in Chicago and we’re looking forward to entertaining him and his friends,” Zizzo said. “Plus, he and ‘Big Daddy’ are going to sign the car before we launch. With that kind of help, how can we possibly lose?”

The team pulled out all the stops for the event with a recent test session at the track and was able to learn a ton of information about the car. “Thanks to our amazing crew chief, Mike Kern, we discovered some valuable facts about the car and what we need to do to get from Point A to Point B,” Zizzo said. “We’re going with a newer fuel system that should definitely improve our performance on the track.

“Considering almost all of our marketing partners are from the Chicagoland area, we want to make this proud this weekend.”

TJ in the Media: TJ, along with 2007 NHRA Full Throttle Series Pro Stock Motorcycle champ Matt Smith, joined Greg Damon on KMOX in St. Louis Saturday afternoon. The audio from The Auto Show can be heard HERE. Zizzo and the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner team was also featured on FOX Chicago Monday evening. For more information, visit MyFOXChicago.com.

Meet TJ:The pilot of the PEAK/Herculiner NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel dragster will be at the O’Reilly Auto Parts locations Wednesday at 2200 W. Jefferson St. from 11 a.m.-12:15 and 312 Collins St. from 1-2:15 p.m.

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.

Zizzo will race his PEAK/Herculiner rail in the 14th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet. The stars of the NHRA will race under the stars this weekend, with the first round of qualifying starting at 5 p.m. local time and the second scheduled to run at 8 with Saturday’s two rounds of nitro qualifying set to run at the same times. Eliminations start at 11 a.m. Sunday. For ticket information, call Route 66 Raceway at 888-629-RACE or visit them on the Web at Route66Raceway.com.


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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