BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 1) — Well if you can’t win it, be spectacular and that’s what happened in the first round of Monday’s eliminations at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals for Top Fuel driver, T.J. Zizzo.
As the RustOleum dragster started making a charge on opponent Bob Vandergriff in the first round of eliminations a camshaft suddenly and unexpectedly broke causing a massive explosion in the engine area. T.J. was fine after being checked out by the NHRA Safety Safari.
“That was probably our biggest boomer of our career,” said Zizzo, the No. 11 qualifier in the quickest Top Fuel field ever. “Yeah, it was definitely a broken camshaft. For the weekend we had the baddest hot rod we ever had in probably a long, long time, if not ever. We had a great race car and our crew worked really hard at it. Sometimes you have mechanical failure in these deals.”
In his race, Vandergriff won the round recording a time 3.805 seconds, 323.43 mph as Zizzo coasted to a time of 4.301 seconds, 186.90 mph.
“He was out on us a just a little bit and I started to catch up and then it went boom and bang and our day was over,” said Zizzo.
Zizzo was pleased with his team’s performance over the weekend running a career best time of 3.795 seconds in qualifying and announcing RustOleum as a partner on his race team on Friday.
“We certainly showed RustOleum what the sport of NHRA Drag Racing was all about,” smiled Zizzo. “It’s exciting to have a nice solid future with them and I can’t wait to show them their first round win in Las Vegas.”
Zizzo Racing’s next event will be the Toyota Nationals on The Strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 31 – Nov. 2.