Zizzo Racing press release
Solid A to B Run For PEAK Rail on Day 1 of U.S. Nationals
CLERMONT, Ind. – On a simmering hot day, veteran drag racer TJ Zizzo did exactly what he needed to do after a seven-week layoff from the NHRA Full Throttle Series circuit: Drive his PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner Top Fuel dragster A to B and bring it back in one piece.
Zizzo, who drives for his family-owned team on a limited schedule, ran a 4.218 second ET at 282.54 mph, good enough for a provisional 13th place on the charts. With the unique qualifying format of the Mac Tools NHRA U.S. Nationals, the teams ran one qualifying round Friday and will run a total of four more over the next two days. The Chicago native and second-generation drag racer is confident in his chances to be one of the 16 rails racing for the Wally on Monday.
“My goal was to go A to B, which we did,” he said immediately following the evening qualifying round. “I dropped a hole (cylinder), the No. 6 hole, about two seconds into the run. Not really too worried about that. Definitely disappointed we didn’t run faster, but it did go A to B at 4.21-ish.
“My goal was to bring the PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner dragster back with some good parts left. Chicago was torture on engine parts, so we addressed a lot of those issues over the past seven weeks and (today), it came back clean, which was very, very important. It wasn’t fast, but it was clean.”
In addition to seeing some of the best racing in the world at the NHRA’s biggest annual event, Zizzo was also impressed with the heartiness of the fans attending the race on Friday. Triple-digit temps aren’t for the casual fan, but few of the NHRA faithful count themselves in that class.
“Let’s discuss the fans, let’s discuss the heat,” he said. “When I was sitting in the staging lanes, the GMC Envoy told me it was 110 degrees. Now I don’t really believe that, but needless to say, even if it was 100 degrees out there, even if it was 92 degrees out there, it was blazin’ hot today! But here at the 57th U.S. Nationals, hot as molasses, and there were still people here. They were here at nine o’clock in the morning sweating bullets.”