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Red Light Leads to Letdown in E-Town for Zizzo

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing Topics:  Toyota NHRA Summernationals

Red Light Leads to Letdown in E-Town for Zizzo

Brandon Mudd
High Side Media
Zizzo Racing
June 2, 2013


Brandon W. Mudd

TJ Zizzo
ENGLISHTOWN, NJ – After qualifying ninth with a strong 3.871-second ET, TJ Zizzo and the PEAK Motor Oil Top Fuel team knew they where in position to contend for round wins on Sunday. Even though they were facing Al Anabi Racing's Shawn Langdon, the team was confident in their car and their abilities.

Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. At the starting line for round one of eliminations for the 44th Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ, Zizzo made a rare mistake and jumped the start. The Chicago native rolled through the beams before the staging lights were lit, giving Langdon the automatic win. After the race, Zizzo was quick to take the blame.

"I simply lost focus," he said in the PEAK Motor Oil pit after his loss. "It only takes a second to lose focus. I have never in my driving career of more than 2,000 laps of Top Alcohol and Top Fuel left before the tree was active. That's pretty bad.

For the part-time team, the loss was bad enough, but because of the nature of it, they were unable to make a full pull, meaning crew chief Mike Kern was not able to get any information about the car and the conditions to use for future races.

"To add insult to injury, you realize you did that, so you get off the gas and you get back on it, which all that does is give the team absolutely zero information for that run," Zizzo said. "Which is more disheartening. We've only made about 15 laps this year so you try to get every single lap you can, no matter what so you can get information from it. So I was certainly disappointed. Drivers make mistakes. All I can do is rebound for Joliet."

Langdon went on to the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel finals to face his teammate, Khalid al Balooshi, and win his third event of the season and second in a row with a pass of 3.853 seconds.

The next event for Zizzo Racing is at the home track for both the team and their sponsor, Route 66 Raceway, in Joliet, Ill. Nitro qualifying kicks off Friday at 5:15 p.m. local time and again at 8. Qualifying on Saturday begins at 5 p.m. and 8. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday. For tickets, 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.


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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