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Solid A to B Run For PEAK Rail on Day 1 of U.S. Nationals

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

Solid A to B Run For PEAK Rail on Day 1 of U.S. Nationals

Brandon W. Mudd
Zizzo Racing
September 2, 2011


Brandon W. Mudd

CLERMONT, Ind. – On a simmering hot day, veteran drag racer TJ Zizzo did exactly what he needed to do after a seven-week layoff from the NHRA Full Throttle Series circuit: Drive his PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner Top Fuel dragster A to B and bring it back in one piece.

Zizzo, who drives for his family-owned team on a limited schedule, ran a 4.218 second ET at 282.54 mph, good enough for a provisional 13th place on the charts. With the unique qualifying format of the Mac Tools NHRA U.S. Nationals, the teams ran one qualifying round Friday and will run a total of four more over the next two days. The Chicago native and second-generation drag racer is confident in his chances to be one of the 16 rails racing for the Wally on Monday.

“My goal was to go A to B, which we did,” he said immediately following the evening qualifying round. “I dropped a hole (cylinder), the No. 6 hole, about two seconds into the run. Not really too worried about that. Definitely disappointed we didn’t run faster, but it did go A to B at 4.21-ish.

“My goal was to bring the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner dragster back with some good parts left. Chicago was torture on engine parts, so we addressed a lot of those issues over the past seven weeks and (today), it came back clean, which was very, very important. It wasn’t fast, but it was clean.”

In addition to seeing some of the best racing in the world at the NHRA’s biggest annual event, Zizzo was also impressed with the heartiness of the fans attending the race on Friday. Triple-digit temps aren’t for the casual fan, but few of the NHRA faithful count themselves in that class.

“Let’s discuss the fans, let’s discuss the heat,” he said. “When I was sitting in the staging lanes, the GMC Envoy told me it was 110 degrees. Now I don’t really believe that, but needless to say, even if it was 100 degrees out there, even if it was 92 degrees out there, it was blazin’ hot today! But here at the 57th U.S. Nationals, hot as molasses, and there were still people here. They were here at nine o’clock in the morning sweating bullets.”

Larry Dixon rocketed to the top of the provisional charts with a run of 3.883 seconds at 315.56 mph. After tomorrow’s second round of quals, all the racers who are 12th or better are locked into Monday’s finals, with the remainder of the 25-car field able to utilize the final two rounds on Sunday for the four remaining spots.

Qualifying resumes Saturday at 4 p.m. ET and again on Sunday at Noon. 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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