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Zizzo, Rust-Oleum Team, Shake the World (And Tires) in Return to Track

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing Topics:  TJ Zizzo, Route 66 NHRA Nationals

Zizzo, Rust-Oleum Team, Shake the World (And Tires) in Return to Track

Brandon Mudd
High Side Media
Zizzo Racing
July 11, 2015


Brandon W. Mudd

Zizzo Racing Zizzo Racing
JOLIET, Ill.—TJ Zizzo shook the world Friday at Route 66 Raceway in his Rust-Oleum Top Fuel dragster, but not in the way he would have liked. In his first NHRA Mello Yello Series race of the year, the Lucas Oil Route 66 Nationals, an overly-aggressive fuel pump forced his dragster to go into tire shake during both his Q1 and Q2 runs down the 1,000 feet at Zizzo Racing's home track. He ended the day with an ET of 6.455 seconds.

The team is currently 18th in the Top Fuel qualifying ladder and on the outside looking in, as is former IHRA alum and Don Schumacher Racing star Spencer Massey.

“We shook the tires on the first pass and we were a little aggressive in our fuel curve, so we tried to slow that down," Zizzo said at the end of Friday's qualifying sessions. "On the second pass, we also shook the tires because we had too much fuel and we dropped a hole.

"We’re going to try to get rid of that fuel. It’s a bigger fuel pump than we had last year and we just need to knock that baby down. It’s just a little too aggressive in the fuel delivery. Mike Kern, our crew chief, will get that handled for tomorrow and we will be OK."

Zizzo, always confident in both his team and his abilities, is comfortable he will put his Rust-Oleum ride into the show on Sunday.

"We didn’t hurt any parts and I’m kinda getting back in the saddle," he said. "We are knocking the dust off! Last year, we knocked the rust off, now we’re knocking the shop dust off. All of us are getting back in the swing of things."

Eight-time and defending Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher took the provisional pole Friday night with a 3.760 second ET.

The Annual Zizzo Pancake Breakfast Returns! A tradition for Zizzo Racing at Joliet has been the Saturday morning pancake breakfast cooked by TJ himself. Fans and media are encouraged to come out and have a free breakfast courtesy of Chicago’s own Saturday at 10 a.m.! “I’m actually cooking those pancakes, making the batter, and all those good things. They’re delicious!”

Don’t Miss Nitro School with TJ & NHRA’s Alan Reinhart! The first day of the NHRA Nitro School with TJ and Alan Reinhart was a success! Take a look HERE!

TJ in the Media! Zizzo's return to NHRA Mello Yello Series competition was covered by the Performance Racing Network's Nitro Notes. Listen HERE!

Fans of TJ Zizzo and Zizzo Racing can find updates and photos of the Rust-Oleum Top Fuel team by checking out ZizzoRacing.com, Twitter at @ZizzoRacing and Facebook.com/TJZizzo.

Zizzo Racing and the Rust-Oleum Top Fuel dragster are racing in the Lucas Oil Route 66 NHRA Nationals this weekend at Route 66 Raceway. Qualifying for the nitro classes are scheduled for Saturday at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Eliminations kick off Sunday at 11 a.m.


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 Mello Yello Series.

About Rust-Oleum:
For nearly a century, Rust-Oleum has been the global leader in manufacturing innovative coatings that empower do-it-yourselfers and professionals alike across categories including small project paints, cleaners, primers, automotive, industrial, high performance coatings and wood care. Its wide breadth of brands and products include such trusted names as Rust-Oleum, Stops Rust®, Painter’s Touch®, Krud Kutter®, Universal®, EpoxyShield®, Varathane®, Zinsser®, MultiSpec®, Testors®, Modern Masters®, and Watco®. Visit www.Rustoleum.com for more information.

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