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PEAK Motor Oil Team Have Their Game Face On in Vegas

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing Topics:  Big O Tires NHRA Nationals

PEAK Motor Oil Team Have Their Game Face On in Vegas

Brandon Mudd
High Side Media
Zizzo Racing
October 29, 2011

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Zizzo Racing
Brandon W. Mudd

PEAK Motor Oil Team Have Their Game Face On in Vegas
LAS VEGAS – They rolled the dice and avoided snake eyes. They hit 21 at the table. They bet it all on black at the roulette table and won. Pick your favorite Las Vegas cliché and apply it to TJ Zizzo and the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner team because when the chips were down at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday, the team put up a 3.879 second ET at a team record 319.14 mph. The run put Zizzo Racing in the 11th qualifying position for Sunday’s Big O Tires NHRA Nationals where they will face three-time and defending NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon.
The Chicago-based team qualified No. 2 in the first round Friday, earning two bonus points in the process, but back-to-back engine issues put the group behind the eight ball. The last-second discovery of an air leak allowed the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner crew to lay down a solid run and get into the show.
“Man, we love to keep it adventurous, don’t we?” Zizzo said with a smile after Q4. “Taking the body and starting panels off the car at the starting line and finding a little air leak at that time…fortunately, there was a little oil down on the track before we ran so we had that opportunity. I’m not saying that was the cause of all of our anguish the past few runs, but it made up for the last run. And we ran 319 mph at a thousand feet, that’s the fastest run of my career!
“This is a very, very emotional sport. It’s very draining for everybody on our team so for us to have our backs against the wall, I knew in my heart we could pull it out and that things would all work out and they did.”
Crew chief Mike Kern was confident the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner dragster would perform as expected based on its Q1 run and the abilities of the Zizzo Racing team.
“We put up a good number in Rd. 1 and we can’t discount that,” he said. “We got cycled out during the second qualifier on Friday and we didn’t make a good run on that pass. We had issues with the head gasket and put a hole (cylinder) out and had the same problem today. We made some changes and verified what the problem was, put it together, and it did what it was supposed to do. We just decided to make it exciting.”
Del Worsham earned top qualifier for the Top Fuel class in the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals with a 3.796 ET at 322.88 mph. A total of 27 rails attempted to make Sunday’s eliminations with some big names going home early, including Cory McClenathan and 2011 Winternationals winner Morgan Lucas.
For ticket information for the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, click HERE. Eliminations start at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Honoring a Champion: Zizzo, along with most of the NHRA Full Throttle Series teams here, are honoring former IndyCar Series champion and two-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon with memorial decals on their machines. Wheldon lost his life at Las Vegas Motor Speedway two weeks ago in their series finale.
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.

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
Event Coordinator: 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

Our mailing address is:
Zizzo Racing, Inc.
23275 North Olsen Court
Prairie View, IL 60069
Copyright (C) 2011 Zizzo Racing, Inc.

The Zizzo Racing logo and TJ Zizzo are trademarks of Zizzo Racing, Inc. 
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