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Four Rounds, Four Strong Runs of Qualifying for Zizzo at zMAX

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing
Topics:  TJ Zizzo, O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA 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: Matt Blager
Utility: Doug Wikell
Public/Media Relations: Brandon W. Mudd

Four Rounds, Four Strong Runs of Qualifying for Zizzo at zMAX

Brandon W. Mudd
Zizzo Racing
September 17, 2011


Brandon W. Mudd

CONCORD, N.C. – Ideal weather conditions for fast racecars continued Saturday at zMAX Dragway for the second and final day of NHRA Full Throttle Series qualifying. TJ Zizzo raced his PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner Top Fuel dragster to twin 3.900 second passes, completing a weekend of solid runs for the Chicago-based team. Zizzo qualified 12th for Sunday’s O’Reilly NHRA Nationals eliminations on the strength of a 3.860 second pass at a personal record 316.23 mph on Friday.

The team is building off a strong showing at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis two weeks ago when they were only .02 seconds shy of beating one of the top racers in the sport, Brandon Bernstein. Four fast passes at “The Bellagio of Drag Strips” has given the team more confidence in their rail and in racing, confidence equals momentum.

“I’m very excited,” Zizzo said after the final round of qualifying. “The car is very consistent and that’s a good feeling. Now that we’ve run two races in a row, we’re going to let this thing roll.”

With great speed comes expense and this weekend, that expense was in the form of Goodyear tires. Team owner Tony Zizzo said the team has gone through their share of slicks due to the cold track conditions. “We’ve spent more money on tires this weekend than we’ve spent all season,” The elder Zizzo said. “One pair of tires per round and we’re running out.”

Overall, the trip to the Southeast has been full of positives for the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner team and Zizzo is ready to run for the money on Sunday.

“Needless to say, a 3.89, a 3.86, a 3.90, and a 3.90, that’s fantastic,” he said. “It’s a great start to the weekend and it’s great to be racing week in and week out right now and we’re looking forward to tomorrow. The car has been consistent and that will scare the guy next to us.”

The guy next to them is U.S. Nationals winner Antron Brown, who barely edged Zizzo for the round win last October at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway thanks to a holeshot. Brown qualified fourth with a 3.802 second pass. His Don Schumacher Racing teammates Tony Schumacher and Spencer Massey both ran identical 3.771 ETs in the final round of qualifying, but “The Sarge” was faster and earned top qualifier honors going into Sunday.

Get Zizzo Stuff: Want some great race-used items from an NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel team? Have a friend or relative who’s impossible to shop for? Look no more! Head over to the Zizzo Racing page on eBay by clicking HERE!

Fans of TJ Zizzo and Zizzo Racing can find updates and photos of the PEAK Motor Oil/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 is racing his PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner Top Fuel dragster this weekend at zMAX Dragway in the 4th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. Eliminations are expected to begin Sunday at Noon EDT with pre-race ceremonies scheduled for 11 a.m. Spectator gates open at 9:30 a.m. For more information on this weekend’s event or for tickets, click HERE.


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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