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Zizzo Has a Big Boom at the Big Go; PEAK Machine in the Field of 16

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing
Topics:  TJ Zizzo, Mac Tools U.S. 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 Has a Big Boom at the Big Go; PEAK Machine in the Field of 16

Brandon W. Mudd
Zizzo Racing
September 4, 2011


Brandon W. Mudd

CLERMONT, Ind. – At every NHRA Full Throttle Series race, TJ Zizzo and the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner Top Fuel team go, well, Full Throttle or go home. Saturday night, the team ran a 3.919 second ET at 301.27 mph, good enough to put them solidly in the field for Monday’s 57th Annual Mac Tools NHRA U.S. Nationals. So on Sunday, the team went full throttle. In the first round, Zizzo smoked the tires. And in the second?


“Today, we went up there and pushed it to the limit,” Zizzo said, after qualifying 14th for the Big Go. “Smoked the tires the first time. Then figuring, ‘Hey, let’s push this baby and see what she’ll do,’ (in the last round) we went to around 300 feet or so and ka-BOOM! That was the big one.”

Very rarely does the team ever cause the NHRA’s Safety Safari to hit the track for a lengthy cleanup. And despite it being a common occurrence Sunday by several teams, Zizzo doesn’t like being a contributor, although he’ll admit sometimes it has to be done.

“It’s not something that we like to do, but if you’re not pushing the envelope in these cars to the limit, you’re not trying hard enough,” he said. “Once in awhile, it’s going to happen. Needless to say, we’ve qualified at the Big Go, we’re looking forward to tomorrow, and we’ll just work really hard tonight. A lot of very long hours for a very early morning.”

The PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner team faces third-place qualifier Brandon Bernstein in the first round of eliminations Monday. Zizzo is 0-3 against the son of the legendary “King of Speed” Kenny Bernstein, but has not raced him since 2005 at the now-defunct Gateway International Raceway. Antron Brown earned P1 for the Top Fuel class with an ET of 3.818 seconds at 322.96 mph. He faces Shawn Langdon in the first round.

Eliminations are scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m. For more information on the event or for tickets, visit NHRA.com.

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.


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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