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Kenny Youngblood to Focus on Texas Racers on Zizzo Racing Dragster in Houston

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing
Topics:  TJ ZizzoKenny Youngblood

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

Kenny Youngblood to Focus on Texas Racers on Zizzo Racing Dragster in Houston

Brandon W. Mudd
Zizzo Racing
April 27, 2011


Brandon W. Mudd

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – TJ Zizzo is racing the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner rail this weekend in the 23rd Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway with the new Kenny Youngblood paint scheme that was unveiled in Pomona, but with some new highlights.

“We thought it would be cool to showcase different Youngblood creations on the car, and change those vignettes to align with the different geographic areas were we’ll be racing in 2011,” Zizzo said. “When we unveiled the car at Pomona, the wrap featured four of his paintings that represented West Coast drag racing (Gas Rhonda, Dave Condit, Bakersfield Drags, and the Speed Sport Roadster).”

At this weekend’s NHRA Full Throttle Series event at Royal Purple Raceway, the dragster will again feature four more of Youngblood’s contributions to racing, but this time they will have a Texas flavor. “Over the years, we did graphic designs and paintings for the best Texas had to offer,” said Youngblood, who is celebrating his 45th year in drag racing this season, “namely Raymond Beadle, Eddie Hill and Lori Johns. We did a lot of work for Raymond, so two of the four featured images are photos of the Blue Max that we created the graphics for; in the case of the Mustang, we also did the actual hand lettering and airbrush work on the car itself.”

Youngblood went on to discuss the inspiration for the other new prints on Zizzo’s car this weekend. “I was a big fan of Lori Johns and one of my best paintings ever was the portrait I did of her and her Top Fuel car, which the late Tom Stratton and I also painted,” Youngblood said.

Last but not least, is Youngblood’s painting of Eddie Hill’s cataclysmic engine explosion, which coincidentally occurred while Eddie was competing at the Houston event, in 1999. “What can you say about Eddie? He was the consummate drag racer; a great driver, a graduate engineer and innovator who certainly wasn’t afraid to push the envelope.”

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 NHRA Full Throttle Series event at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas at the 23rd Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals. The first round of qualifying is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. local time Friday with the second round expected to start at 6 p.m. The final two rounds of qualifying for the Nitro classes are scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. local time Saturday. Finals kick off Sunday at 11 a.m. immediately following pre-race ceremonies. Spectator gates for all three days of racing open at 7:30 a.m. For information about the event or to purchase tickets, visit RoyalPurpleRaceway.com or call 281-383-7223.


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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