CHICAGO (May 9, 2024) – Last season, drag racing fans were thrilled to see Chicago native TJ Zizzo and the Rust-Oleum Top Fuel dragster return to action on the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series. Once again Zizzo Racing led by team owner Tony Zizzo and driver TJ will start their season at the Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals, May 17-19, at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois. The wildly popular event returned last season with sold out grandstands and racing action that included a run to the semifinals by Zizzo and the Rust-Oleum Top Fuel team. With a busy off-season behind them, Zizzo Racing is even more prepared and excited to get the 2024 season underway.
“Last year we had all new equipment and had been away from the sport, so it took us some time to get our feet under ourselves,” said Zizzo, one of the most respected drivers on the tour. “We want to represent Rust-Oleum and all our sponsors to the highest level when we hit the track so our goal in Chicago and throughout the season will be to make the most of qualifying and then give it our all on race day. This team has a lot of experience and most importantly we have a lot of heart.”

Last season one of the major contributors to Zizzo Racing’s return and success was the addition of a new race car thanks to a generous offer by NHRA Hall of Fame driver and team owner, Don Schumacher. Over the off-season, Schumacher lost a courageous battle against cancer and the loss weighs heavily on the entire Zizzo Racing team and NHRA community. There will be a number of celebratory memorial events for Schumacher, and he will be top of mind for Zizzo throughout the event and rest of the season.
“Don Schumacher is one of the major reasons Zizzo Racing is still getting to do what we love,” said Zizzo. “He was a great friend and mentor. His impact on racing and the Chicago business community was massive. I think about him every day and every time I go into the shop, I am thankful for every opportunity, every conversation, and the words of encouragement he gave me and our team over the many, many years we raced together and against each other. He was one of the iconic figures in our sport and this weekend will be a celebration of his generosity and impact.”

The Zizzo Racing team has always prided themselves on being race ready no matter when their season starts.  They will begin their 2024 limited race schedule with the Route 66 Nationals and then compete throughout the summer at the Norwalk Nationals, June 27-30 (Norwalk, Ohio), the historic U.S. Nationals, the iconic Norwalk Night Under Fire, August 3 (Norwalk, Ohio), August 28-September 2 (Indianapolis, Indiana) and the Midwest Nationals, September 27-29 (St. Louis, Missouri). At each of these races Zizzo, will be campaigning the beautiful Rust-Oleum Top Fuel dragster, one of the fastest accelerating race cars on the planet, harnessing 12,000-horsepower and exceeding speeds of 330 mph in less than 3.7 seconds.
“There is nothing that can compare to hitting the throttle on the Rust-Oleum Top Fuel dragster,” said Zizzo, who has raced to one final round in his Top Fuel career. “You can’t really describe it other than to say it is a handful, beautiful, powerful, and amazing all at once and as soon as you make a 3.7 second pass you want to get right back in the cockpit and do it again. I am looking forward to getting the season started in Chicago and talking with fans across the country about Rust-Oleum and how cool the NHRA is.”
Top Fuel qualifying begins on Friday, May 17, and continues Saturday, May 18. Zizzo and the Rust-Oleum Rocket team will once again host a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning in their pit area which will be a welcome addition to race festivities. Final eliminations for the 16 quickest Top Fuel dragsters will take place on Sunday, May 19 and the race will be broadcast nationally on FS1. Fans can buy tickets to see Zizzo and the Rust-Oleum Top Fuel dragster at