About Zizzo Racing

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Driver Profile: 

TJ Zizzo

  • Hometown: Lincolnshire, Illinois
  • Date of Birth: August 19,1975
  • Team Owner: Tony Zizzo
  • Crew Chief: Mike Kern
  • Clutch Specialist: Tony Smith
  • Married: Jennifer (wife), Madeline (daughter), Nicolas (son)
  • Years Driving: 20
  • Occupations: Body Shop Manager - Zizzo Enterprises & NHRA Top Fuel Driver
  • Hobbies: Golf, cooking and ATV riding


TJ Zizzo credits his father, a professional Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Fuel Dragster driver, with igniting his passion for racing. By the tender age of five, TJ’s exposure to the world of drag racing began. By the early age of 16, TJ received his NHRA license and went on to set the record as the world’s fastest teenager! In 2003, TJ earned his NHRA Top Fuel license and ran an amazing 4.742 elapse time at 310.98 mph in his first pass at Route 66 in Joliet, Illinois.

Today, TJ is a top level competitor who consistently focuses on performance and aiming higher. During the 2012 season, TJ will compete in 10 NHRA Top Fuel dragster races with Peak Motor Oil as his title sponsor.

TJ and his wife, Jennifer, have two children, Madeline (7) and Nicolas (5). While not at the race track, TJ enjoys golf, motorsports, working at Zizzo Enterprises (his family-owned body shop) and spending time with family and friends.



Zizzo Racing was established 32 years ago. Team Owner, Tony Zizzo Sr. began his racing career in 1980 competing in the Top Alcohol Dragster division. Zizzo campaigned several dragsters bearing the Avenger name for more than two decades. Zizzo Sr. was the United Drag Racers Association (UDRA) Supercharged Top Alcohol Dragster Champion in 1984, '85, '86, '89 and was the first Top Alcohol dragster driver to run a 6.20 at over 220.70 mph. Zizzo Racing Inc. and its 12-person team operate from a facility in Lincolnshire, Illinois.


  • Tony Zizzo

    Team Owner - 32 years

  • Mike Kern

    Crew Chief – 9 years

  • Tony Smith

    Assistant Crew Chief and Clutch Specialist – 21years

  • Rick Messmore

    Car Chief - 7 years

  • Joe Cluts

    Cylinder Heads and Engine Assembly - 8 years

  • Rick Dale

    Cylinder Head Specialist - 4 year

  • Ryan Ramos

    Engine (Bottom End) - 5 years

  • Chris Schneider

    Clutch Assistant – 3 years

  • Mike Adams

    Utility - 3 year

  • Matt Blager

    Utility #2 - 1 years

  • Cathie Gallo

    Fan Hospitality - 11 years

  • Willys

    Shop cat