LAS VEGAS (Oct. 31) – On this Halloween, Rust-Oleum Top Fuel driver, TJ Zizzo had a trick and then a treat after his first day of qualifying at the Toyota Nationals on The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Zizzo in his opening session left the line under power and then quickly spun the tires suffering engine damage resulting in a time of 5.036 seconds.
“We were concerned about just about just making the second qualifying session,” said a relieved Zizzo. “The first pass was such an event; it kicked a rod out causing catastrophic damage to the engine. But we got it together, borrowed some parts from our neighbors in the pits and that worked out very well. It went right down the groove the later session.”
That second session produced the desired outcome for the Rust-Oleum team with a clean and smooth pass of 4.835 seconds at speed of 316.15 mph.
“We wanted to go a little quicker, but it ended up not going all the way to the finish line under full power, but it went well and we ended up No. 12 by a thousandth of a second.”
He gets to carry over his provisional qualifying time of 3.835 seconds to tomorrow’s rounds giving Zizzo added relief.
“It’s a huge benefit,” said Zizzo. “Our team always goes above and beyond for anything we need to get done. It was pretty neat to run that 3.83. I could feel the car pulling all the way down and we’ll have to get after it tomorrow. There are plenty of good cars behind us. Being No. 12 qualifier is great, but that really doesn’t mean anything. There’s a lot going on there, so we’re going to have to stand on it the first round tomorrow. The weather is going to be different on Saturday calling for it to be cooler here. The times should go down and the speeds go up, so we’ll have to keep up with the Jones’.”
Qualifying continues on Saturday with two more sessions at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. PDT with ESPN2 coverage of qualifying starting at 3 a.m. EST, Sunday morning with a replay at 1 p.m