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Zizzo ‘Knocking Off the Rust’ this Weekend at Route 66

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing Topics:  TJ Zizzo, O’Reilly NHRA Route 66 Nationals

Zizzo ‘Knocking Off the Rust’ this Weekend at Route 66

Kurt Bali
Zizzo Racing
June 26, 2014

TJ Zizzo TJ Zizzo
JOLIET, Ill. – For the first time since the fall NHRA Mello Yello Series fall race at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Zizzo Racing is entered to race in the Top Fuel class in the world’s fastest motorsport. Dragster pilot TJ Zizzo is racing a battleship gray rail with no major sponsorship, but is surprisingly calm and at peace.

The team, based in nearby Lincolnshire, is looking at this weekend’s O’Reilly NHRA Route 66 Nationals as a test session to provide them with invaluable feedback on some of the new parts and pieces on their dragster.

“’Knocking Off The Rust’ is our slogan for the weekend,” Zizzo said. “This is the most relaxed I have ever been before an event. No one to impress, no sponsor obligations…We’re just testing our car and getting back in the groove.”

Despite losing a long-time primary sponsor over the offseason, the team never stopped working upon their return from Vegas. With 176.2 years of combined experience, the self-styled “Most Professional Unprofessional Team in Drag Racing” never had a doubt they would return to the track.

“Seriously, our team is one of a kind and I do not know a team that cares more about their team than our team members do,” Zizzo said. “I am truly blessed. How have I found such a great group of people that dedicate their lives to us?”

Zizzo will drive what he refers to as “The Fastest Rat Rod in the World” this weekend, with uniforms to match. While the team will have no primary sponsor (at least not yet), a group of loyal marketing partners have stepped up to help the Chicago native make his return to his home track.

Although he DNQed the race last year, in the previous two races, Zizzo was the giant killer, qualifying 16th and taking out No. 1 qualifier Spencer Massey in 2011 and No. 1 qualifier Tony Schumacher in 2012.

Zizzo in the Media: TJ was featured on the Performance Racing Network's Nitro Notes discussing his return to NHRA Mello Yello Series competition. To listen, click this LINK.

For more information on TJ Zizzo and Zizzo Racing, check them out on Facebook at Facebook.com/TJZizzo.

The 17th Annual O’Reilly NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday. Nitro classes qualify Friday and Saturday at 5:15 p.m. & 8 p.m., local time. Eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday. Qualifying will be televised on ESPN2 Saturday at 8 p.m. EST with eliminations scheduled for a 3 p.m. EST kickoff.


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