News Ticker

Rust-Oleum Rocket Team Leaves Big Go 10th in NHRA Top Fuel Points


zizzo topCLERMONT, Ind. (September 8, 2020) – In a weekend of NHRA Mello Yello Series drag racing that included a race within a race for TJ Zizzo, the Rust-Oleum Rocket left the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA US Nationals 10th in points in the Top Fuel class. Much of that was thanks to a runner-up finish to Justin Ashley Saturday night during the postponed finals of the Lucas Oil NHRA SummerNationals from July.

TJ Zizzo

TJ Zizzo

While the team was looking to build off the momentum of their first-ever NHRA final, it wasn’t to be as Zizzo fell in E1 Sunday to opponent Antron Brown. Zizzo’s 3.793-second pass at 320.81 mph wasn’t stout enough to overcome Brown’s run of 3.752 seconds at 325.61 mph.

“Antron Brown is a great competitor,” Zizzo said. “He kicked our ass! It’s part of the fun. Maybe when I told him he sucks before I got in the car, maybe that motivated him a little bit! That’s the best thing about this sport; it’s the camaraderie.

“I’m emotionally exhausted!” the second-generation drag racer continued. “This has been an exciting Indy. Against Antron, we were slow. Seriously, that’s what it boils down to, we were slow. Didn’t expect to be that slow. Should’ve ran a lot faster and a lot harder. Man, we needed slow (Saturday night) and fast (Sunday), go figure! Needless to say, we’re getting through it. Life is good. It will all work out and we’ll get ready to go to our next event.”

One of the great motivators for the team throughout its history has been the dedicated support of Zizzo’s fans.

“We have wonderful fans,” he said. “Fans came up to me today-a lot of them-and mentioned how they felt bad for us and sorry for us and that we should’ve won (Saturday night), could’ve won, and that we’ll get them next time. That means a lot to me. These fans love us, it’s really cool!”tj zizzoZizzo By The Numbers:

Q1: 3.769 seconds at 327.43 mph
Q2: 9.116 seconds at 76.96 mph
Q3/SummerNats E4: 4.056 seconds at 276.75 mph, loss to Justin Ashley’s 3.958 seconds at 267.96 mph

E1: 3.793 second pass at 320.81 mph, loss to Antron Brown’s 3.752 seconds at 325.61 mph

Zizzo Racing will announce its next race of 2020 in the coming days.

TJ In The Media: TJ was among the drivers at Indy this weekend showing support for Dom Lagana, who was injured in a non-racing incident near the track last month. Susan Wade’s piece in Autoweek can be read HERE.

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

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


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 for more information.

Photo credits: Auto Imagery, Tyler Evoniuk and Zizzo Racing