ZIZZO LOOKING FORWARD TO O’REILLY AUTO PARTS ROUTE 66 NHRA NATIONALS, JULY 7-10
I am proud to have Route 66 Raceway as my home track.
I grew up at drag strips all across America. They all have a special place in my heart, but when I heard a “supertrack” was going to be built in Joliet, Ill., I was ecstatic. I could not wait to unleash my dad’s Top Alcohol dragster down its quarter mile.
I remember the first time driving down historic Rte. 66 and seeing the stands. I was at a loss for words. The stands towered from the ground and I could not wait to see the rest of the facility. Upon entering, I noticed right away it was top notch.
The first NHRA national event I ever competed was in 1998 at Route 66 Raceway. My first pass at the newest facility on the NHRA tour was an experience I will never forget. I pulled under the tower and my heart was racing. The facility was way ahead of its time; they had stadium seating and there was not an empty seat in the house. After the burnout I backed up and thought how lucky I was to have a drag strip of this caliber, just one hour from my home.
Six years later, I made my first run in our NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel dragster on a test and tune night. Tim Wilkerson and Fred Mandolini were helping us and they could not believe how awesome the track was. It was late at night and the track held a 4.74 at 310 mph on my first full pass down the quarter mile. My dad was not only happy with the racing surface, but he also knew if he was going to put me (his only child) in a Top Fuel car for the first time, it would be at the safest facility in the country and Route 66 Raceway was the place to do it.
Having a track like this in our backyard is great for my family and friends. They can come to a fantastic facility, one in which we are proud to show them around. Clean bathrooms, good food, frosty beverages and a great place to view 325 mph ground-pounding race cars. Does it get any better than that?
The facility is also a great place to introduce and entertain current and potential marketing partners, like our friends at PEAK Motor Oil and their parent company, Old World Industries, also located in the Chicago area. As a team, we can entertain them at our hometown event and show them what NHRA professional drag racing is all about.
I feel that the Route 66 Raceway staff is promoting this years’ O’Reilly NHRA Route 66 Nationals to be the best national event ever. They have dedicated personnel in place and a facility that is second to none. There are many sporting events in the Chicagoland area, but none that will shake the earth like a pair of Top Fuel dragsters. Night qualifying on Friday and Saturday will be an unbelievable experience for all the spectators.
The track is always prepared to perfection. Everyone at the facility pours their heart and soul into it. The track is one of the smoothest and fastest drag strips in the world and they wanted it better, extending the concrete and resurfacing the top end. I can’t wait to rip down the newly-paved track to my quickest and fastest run ever in front of my friends, family, and our local marketing partners July 8-10.
Oh yeah, one more reason why Route 66 Raceway rocks: Most of our team members can sleep in their own beds during the event!
TJ Zizzo, driver of the PEAK Motor Oil Top Fuel dragster competes at the sport’s highest level in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. A consistent top half qualifier, Zizzo is a promising star with a rich history in drag racing at Route 66 Raceway. Purchase your O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals tickets on or before Thursday, June 9 to meet TJ Zizzo during the exclusive Route 66 Raceway Starting Line Party on Thursday, June 9 at 6:30pm. Zizzo will also compete July 7-10 in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals will return for its fourteenth-consecutive running on a new date, July 7-10. For the first time, race fans will enjoy two nights of NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series qualifying under the lights on Route 66 Raceway’s new racing surface. Drag racing pioneer “Big Daddy” Don Garlits will serve as the race’s honorary legend and also participate in sportsman competition. Unique to Route 66 Raceway, every NHRA professional and sportsman category will compete, delivering the widest variety of race cars on the NHRA tour. For tickets, call (888) 629-RACE or visit Route66Raceway.com.