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Zizzo, PEAK Team in the Dirty Dozen Going Into Saturday at Baytown

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing Topics:  O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals

Zizzo, PEAK Team in the Dirty Dozen Going Into Saturday at Baytown

Brandon Mudd
High Side Media
Zizzo Racing
April 26, 2013


Brandon W. Mudd

TJ Zizzo
Baytown, Texas – On a muggy overcast day near Houston, TJ Zizzo and the PEAK Motor Oil NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel team continued its positive strides that began last weekend in Charlotte with a Q2 run of 3.884 seconds at 316.30 mph. The pass was good enough for a provisional 12th place, meaning the time will carry over to Saturday’s qualifying session.

Despite the difference in weather and air and track temperature, longtime team crew chief Mike Kern used the set up they ran at zMAX Dragway during the 4-Wide Nationals. The move paid off.

“Basically we tuned it up like we did E1 at Charlotte, looking to run an .86, somewhere in that range,” Kern said, going over the data from Friday’s qualifying efforts. “We were just trying to tickle the clutch a little bit. It slowed up a little bit, we think we’re down on horsepower early on. We think it should have run an .86, but it ran an .88 at 316 (mph).

“But it’s looking good. We’ll just play with it tomorrow and see if we can improve on it from there.”

While the second run was a strong one for Zizzo Racing, the PEAK Motor Oil rail dropped a cylinder in the first session. Zizzo said they were cautious that round due to the weather conditions.

“First pass, I think we were a little weak,” he said from the team’s pit area after qualifying. “We were a little worried about the track temperature, we were a little worried about the humidity level. Really, this is the first time we’ve run in…high humidity, so we were a little tentative. We went up there and at the step, dropped a hole. Mike Kern, our crew chief, said all we’re going to do is put it back on its tune up and let it fly and it ran fine.”

The run was fine but the finish was not as the chutes failed to open when Zizzo crossed the stripe at 1000 feet. The Chicago native managed to get the car slowed down despite a small engine fire and no silk.

“I get to the finish line and hit the chutes and there are no chutes!” he said. “(The car) is vibrating itself to death down there. It kicked the rods out and it was exciting. It was an exciting end of the run. It puts us 12th, which is fantastic. That means our run will count for today, so that’s a positive.”

The provisional top qualifier Friday is Doug Kalitta who edged out the Al Anabi cars of Khalid al Balooshi and Shawn Langdon with an ET of 3.791. Some of the big names on the outside of the top 16 looking are Brittany Force (18th) and Gainesville runner-up Clay Millican (17th).

TJ in the Media: Zizzo was featured on the Performance Racing Network’s Nitro Notes this week, talking about his visit to a children’s hospital when the team raced here last year. To hear the segment, click HERE.

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

Zizzo Racing and the PEAK Motor Oil Top Fuel dragster is racing at the 26th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals outside Houston, Texas this weekend. Nitro qualifying is set for Saturday at 12:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. Eliminations are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Sunday.


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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