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TJ Zizzo Bringing Fierce Focus to NHRA Midwest Nationals

The Rust-Oleum Top Fuel dragster is set to continue its surge toward success at the NHRA Midwest Nationals, scheduled from September 29 to October 1 at the iconic Wide World Technology Raceway. TJ Zizzo, the second-generation driver, is poised for a triumphant return to this storied event, powered by an unwavering commitment to excellence.

Now elevated to the status of NHRA countdown playoff race, the Midwest Nationals attracts the finest talents from across the nation, all competing for the NHRA Camping World Top Fuel world championship. For Zizzo and his team, this year’s race is an opportunity to sustain their upward momentum.
 
“This season our mantra has been simple: put your heads down and work hard,” said Zizzo, a seven-time NHRA Midwest National event contender. “In our four races this year, we’ve consistently raised the bar. The NHRA Midwest Nationals holds a special place in our hearts, and this year will be no different.”
 
Zizzo’s legacy at the NHRA Midwest Nationals, nestled in the historic shadow of St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, traces back to his debut in 2004. Since then, he has maintained a perfect qualification record. The fan-favorite’s best performance was in St. Louis in 2020, when he secured the No. 4 qualifying spot and progressed to the quarterfinals, defeating Luigi Novelli in the opening round.
 
Zizzo and his team’s confidence this season stems from an impressive season debut, despite being out of the competition since 2021. He attributes their success to their new equipment and the unparalleled quality of their Rust-Oleum Top Fuel dragster’s components. Backed by his family, loyal teammates, and steadfast partners, with Rust-Oleum at the forefront, Zizzo and his team have assembled a race crew that maximizes their competitive edge.
 
“This season’s extraordinary progress relies on our team’s commitment to maintaining a winning formula,” said Zizzo, who is a proud Chicago resident. “The exceptional dedication and relentless effort displayed by my teammates have not only fueled our journey thus far but have also inspired us to aim for new heights.”
 
Zizzo and the Rust-Oleum Top Fuel team will make their first qualifying run Friday at 7:00 p.m., with two more qualifying runs slated for Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Final eliminations for the quickest 16 Top Fuel dragster will begin on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. The contested race will be broadcasted nationally on FS1.

This story was originally published on September 27, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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