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Zizzo With Solid A to B Pass After Rain Delay at Route 66

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing Topics:  O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals

Zizzo With Solid A to B Pass After Rain Delay at Route 66

Brandon Mudd
High Side Media
Zizzo Racing
June 28, 2013


Brandon W. Mudd

TJ Zizzo
JOLIET, Ill. – The day at Route 66 Raceway started warm but pleasant, transitioned to potentially serious thunderstorms, and ended with ideal conditions for a great run. Due to the rain, the first day of the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals featured only a single qualifying session where TJ Zizzo and the PEAK Motor Oil team ran a solid 3.913-second ET. It wasn’t the run the team necessarily wanted, but they weren’t disappointed either.

“It was a solid run,” Zizzo said in the PEAK Motor Oil pit taking a break from signing autographs for his hometown fans. “We went A to B, ran a .91. Looking at our parts right now, they look great. That’s a positive. Now we have something to really build on for tomorrow. A lot of good, high-horsepower cars went out there and spun their tires and we didn’t.”

Crew Chief Mike Kern, also an area native, said while it wasn’t a terrible run, the team left a lot on the table.

“It wasn’t exactly what we were looking for,” he said after looking at the run data. “We were looking for something in the mid .80s. We were de-tuned from where we were in E-Town where we ran a decent .87. We were thinking that the conditions (here) were good and with the weather we were trying to get a good ET.

“We’re roughly at 900 feet of altitude which is way higher than we’ve been all year along, so the engine’s looking for a little more horsepower. We’re just flat across the board. We’ll try to pick it up again tomorrow.”

In addition to the NHRA Mello Yello Series hitting town, Chicago was also celebrating the return of the Stanley Cup to the Second City for the second time in four years. Zizzo said it was a great series but had a bone to pick with the team’s owner.

“It was spectacular!” he said. “It was one heck of a series. It feels really good. I only have one complaint: (Blackhawks’ owner) Rocky Wirtz bumped me from the show I was supposed to be on Wednesday on WLS, one of my favorite shows ever! That’s the only negative; other than that, it was a great series.”

Fellow Chicagoan Tony Schumacher earned the provisional top spot during the last pass of the night, laying down a lap of 3.772 seconds at 325.45 mph. Cars take to the track Saturday at 9 a.m. local time with Nitro classes resuming qualifying at 5 p.m.

TJ in the Media: TJ was featured on this week’s edition of PRN’s Nitro Notes as well as on NHRA.com. He was also the focus of an article talking about his recent foray into the world of road racing, the 24 Hours of LeMons. The Southtown Star wrote about his family-run Top Fuel team and Competition Plus featured the Chicago native in their Friday Notebook.

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 are racing in their backyard at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., this weekend for the NHRA Route 66 Nationals. Nitro qualifying is scheduled for Saturday at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. The first round of eliminations is set to kick off at 11 a.m. Sunday. For tickets to the event, click HERE.


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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