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Mello Yello and Motor Oil: Zizzo Ready to PEAK at Pomona

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing Topics:  O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals

Mello Yello and Motor Oil: Zizzo Ready to PEAK at Pomona

Brandon Mudd
High Side Media
Zizzo Racing
February 13, 2013


Brandon W. Mudd

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – For anyone who knows NHRA Top Fuel pilot TJ Zizzo, they know the word mellow probably isn’t an apt descriptor. Whether it’s running the family body shop in the Chicago area, working on the PEAK Motor Oil dragster at drag strips all over the country, or racing said rail at more than 300 mph, Zizzo is moving, and talking, a mile a minute.

But the fan favorite is ready to Go on Yello this weekend at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., for the O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals as Mello Yello takes over as the title sponsor of the NHRA’s top series. “Mello Yello is already flowing in my veins,” said the second-generation racer. “I have not had a day to catch my breath since New Year’s Day. Our entire team has not stopped caressing our PEAK top fueler since the World Finals at Pomona last fall. Everything, and I mean everything, will be better than it was when we finished up at the World Finals.”

One of the bigger stories at the end of the 2012 season was PEAK not only continuing its sponsorship of Zizzo Racing, but stepping up its relationship with NHRA as the sanction named PEAK its Official Anti-Freeze along with other Old World Industry brands BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid (Official Diesel Exhaust Fluid of the NHRA) and Herculiner (Official Bedliner of the NHRA).

“We are excited to be a bigger part of NHRA now that PEAK has an official association with them,” Zizzo said.

Eighteen Top Fuel entries are at Pomona so two drivers will miss the show. Zizzo does not plan to be one of them. While it may take Thursday’s and Friday’s runs to get the car up to speed since the team was unable to make the winter testing at Palm Beach International Raceway, the drag racing veteran has every expectation of going rounds on Sunday.

“Some of our goals this weekend is to see if the new piston combination proves itself from 330 to the finish line,” he said. “We had a quick car to 330 last year, but it never pulled hard to the finish line. It felt like the parachutes were out from 330 to the strip. That’s what happens when it pinches rings early in the run.”

More importantly for Zizzo is entertaining the fans. A regular at the “ropes” at the Zizzo Racing pit, talking with fans as much as he can, he also recognizes the importance of putting on a show on the track. “It is my goal this weekend to bring entertainment back to the burnout,” he said, smiling. “After sitting in the stands last year, I realized that most teams have forgotten why we are racing; we are entertaining.”

Fans of TJ Zizzo and Zizzo Racing can find updates and photos of the PEAK/Herculiner Top Fuel team by checking out ZizzoRacing.com, Twitter.com/TJZizzo, and Facebook.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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