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Nothing Can Be Finer Than Zizzo in Carolina

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: Doug Wikell
Public/Media Relations: Brandon W. Mudd

Nothing Can Be Finer Than Zizzo in Carolina

Brandon W. Mudd
Zizzo Racing
September 13, 2011


Brandon W. Mudd

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – At the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, TJ Zizzo and the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner Top Fuel team showed why they’re among the best in the business. After a strong run on Saturday, a blown engine Sunday night in the final round of qualifying created some extra work for the Chicago-based NHRA Full Throttle Series team. They came out of the box strong Monday morning in the first round of eliminations against fellow second-generation star Brandon Bernstein, falling by only .02 seconds in the best race of E1.

This weekend, they return to zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C., for the 4th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. Last year, Zizzo entered Sunday’s eliminations sixth, his highest-ever qualifying effort since he began racing in the NHRA in 2003. Only by a mere .005 seconds was Steve Torrence able to earn his way to E2. This year, Zizzo has no plans to leave early.

“After a close first round match up at the Big Go against Brandon, our team is ready to do battle again,” Zizzo said. “It is great that we are attending the next race on the schedule after the US Nationals. It keeps our momentum going. On the very first run this weekend, our team and I will feel more comfortable than we have earlier this year after taking a few months off between races. That will improve our performance in qualifying and our finish on Sunday.

“Last year we lost to Steve Torrence by the slimmest of margins. This year we want to AVENGE that loss in the first round no matter who our opponent is.”

Zizzo will get some extra practice at the “Bellagio of Drag Strips” Wednesday. “I will help host the O'Reilly customer race on Wednesday night at the drag strip,” he said. “I will warm up my driving skills behind a Ford Fusion.”


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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