Features

Posted by: T.J. Zizzo
Some of my students stayed after class for a photo!
Of course, I have a few PEAK products I use in my demonstrations.
A small group of Boy Scouts and their siblings stopped by the shop for a field trip.

Speaking of crew chiefs, here's Mike Kern with my son Nick at a model train restaurant near Mike's house. Nick has his eyes on the train bringing us our food.
That is a good looking team and they are always smiling.

I was tossing and turning at 2 a.m., thinking about what I needed to accomplish before our next event in Houston. Thankfully, I was tossing and turning, because after a day of chocolate bunnies and a large Easter dinner, I needed a little exercise.  I had lost five pounds since Pomona, but I was positive I gained that weight back after just one day of indulgence.

Something else positive was happening: I was thinking about this blog. I had been working on it for a few weeks, but I was not happy with the direction it was going. I decided to start over and write about two subjects that I am passionate about: teaching and our PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner Top Fuel team.

I received an Engineering degree from Illinois State University, but if I did it all over again, I would have pursued a teaching degree.  My wife is a high school Spanish teacher and I have always been envious that she is able to shape young minds every day.  Thankfully, I fill my need for teaching in an after school prep program at a local high school.

Teaching is something I love and every time I stand in front of a class, I get “up on the tire.”  About an hour before the class, my heart beats a little harder and I try to prepare myself for the unexpected.  That sounds a lot like the time leading up to climbing into our PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner Top Fuel dragster.

As you would guess, I teach an automotive-related class. I educate my students on a wide variety of subjects, from how to purchase a vehicle to maintaining it for the longevity of its existence.  Most of my classes are diverse, filled with both males and females and ages ranging from 15 to 70 years of age.  Some of my students only know how to fill their vehicle with gas, while others want to pull the engine in their BMWs before the class is over. Usually, I have a few students that are single and they just want to know more about the second biggest investment in their life. They want to feel confident when they turn the key or when they get their vehicle serviced; they want to know they are not being misled.

I also get an opportunity during the class to talk about the wide range of PEAK products.  Not only do I use them in our body shop and on our race team, promote them on the race track and to the great fans of drag racing, I also explain to my students about their products and how to use them.

Educating America on their vehicles is one of my goals and I will expand this program in the future.

Transitioning to my next subject will be a piece of cake.  Every time I step on the gas of our PEAK Motor Oil/Herculiner Top Fuel dragster, it is certainly a sensation that is off the charts!  I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to do it and I will never forget it.

I am excited to get back to racing.  It has been 54 days since Pomona, but who’s counting? Our team is comprised of 13 people who never stop working and I am so proud of them.  We had a lot to do between races and everyone kept their nose to the grind stone.  They are very dedicated and are always looking to improve our performance on the track. 

I am always working on improving our businesses (body shop and professional racing team) and our program for our current and future marketing partners.  Sometimes, I even get a chance to sit in the car and practice my reaction times.  I am sure you remember from one of my blogs, if not two of them, Mike Kern (our crew chief) wired the practice tree so I can use it in the car.  I think that was a hint!  Nothing beats seat time on the track, but it at least allows me to go through all the motions and practice.

I am optimistic that Houston will be a good race for our team.  We certainly dedicate a lot of time and hard work preparing one of the fastest accelerating wheel driven vehicles in the world!  Wow, how awesome is that?

As always, try to keep up with me on:  Facebook (TJ Zizzo, Zizzo Racing), Twitter (@TJZizzo, @ZizzoRacing), YouTube.com/TJZizzo, PeakAuto.com and ZizzoRacing.com…because I can’t even keep up with myself!

 
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