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Rust-Oleum Rocket Gives Zizzo Career-Fastest Pass in St. Louis


tj zizzoMADISON, Ill. (September 30,2019) – A race that was a last-minute decision when his season was supposed to end after the US Nationals turned into a career weekend for TJ Zizzo. The Chicagoland native laid down a pass of 3.769 seconds at 329.75 mph, that speed being a personal best, in the first round of eliminations in Sunday’s AAA NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Unfortunately, No. 3 qualifier Austin Prock was .02 seconds quicker than the Rust-Oleum Rocket and put Zizzo Racing on the truck after a solid weekend despite the loss.

TJ Zizzo

TJ Zizzo

“If you’re going to lose, you should lose that way,” said Zizzo after the round. “The round of first round, I believe. Tight racing, good drivers, both with good reaction times, both having a good side-by-side run. Even Austin Prock said at the top end ‘That’ll be the one they’ll talk about!’ It was close.”

Losing isn’t fun, especially when it’s the last race of the season. However, Zizzo recognizes the team took a large step forward this weekend, making the unexpected trip to St. Louis worth it.

“Unfortunately, we were on the losing side of that, but to go out with a career-best run, everything looks good,” he said. “Everything we wanted to accomplish, well, you never accomplish everything you want to at a race, but we accomplished most of what we wanted to accomplish here. That’s important for our team. That’s important for our team to sit idle in the winter time feeling good about themselves.

“Anytime we leave with a career-best run or career-best speed, the winter goes well and we come out swinging again.”

By The Numbers:

Q1: 5.540 seconds at 119.33 mph
Q2: 3.900 seconds at 261.07 mph
Q3: 3.805 seconds at 324.28 mph
Q4: 3.791 seconds at 323.43 mph

E1: 3.769 seconds at 329.75 mph (loss to Austin Prock)tj zizzo and fanFan Duel! TJ raced Scott Keller Saturday prior to Q4 of Top Fuel qualifying in identically-prepared Chevrolet Camaros. Scott won the opportunity to face Zizzo after participating in the Budweiser Gateway Challenge. Keller treed Zizzo and took the victory. Congratulations, Scott!

TJ In The Media: TJ Zizzo was featured in an article at, a comprehensive look at the team’s 2019 season & what led Zizzo Racing to compete this weekend!

Fans of TJ Zizzo and Zizzo Racing can find updates and photos of the Rust-Oleum Top Fuel team by checking out:

zizzoAbout 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 for more information.

Photo Credit: Tyler Evoniuk, Zizzo Racing, Driver photo: NHRA