Too many thoughts and ideasFriday, June 03, 2011

I have so many thoughts going through my mind that sometimes I am overwhelmed with what I should write about. I know everyone’s time is limited and if you are going to spend time reading this blog it better be worth it. I believe everyone reading this knows my results from our last race in Houston. I drank too much Full Throttle before first round and I went red. Truthfully, I just messed up, as I stepped on the gas I asked myself, “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?” My heart sank to an all-time low and I thought I would need a PEAK Jump-Starter to restart my heart after that mistake. I felt terrible for the team and all of our marketing partners, but like any mistake, I will put it behind me and do a better job next time.

It’s that time of year and I am deep into yard work. I find it very therapeutic and it gives me a chance to reflect on life in the big city. Many things were going through my mind while shoveling many yards of mulch, when it came to me. I finally narrowed it down and I knew what I was going to write about.

My dad just turned 60 a few weeks ago and that was huge! He was not very excited about turning 60 even though I told him that today’s 60 is like yesterday’s 40. To him, it was all about the number.

His dad only lived a few years after that milestone. I have thought about that and most importantly, I am sure he has, too. There is big difference between my dad and his. I was young when my grandpa passed away, but I remember him as someone who was quiet and did not have the same passion for life as my dad does.

It all made sense to me when I was looking for a card and preparing for his 60th birthday party. There was nothing in the “happy 60th” aisle for my dad. The cards spoke about retiring, relaxing and getting old; that is far from my dad. He is full of energy and still dives into projects every day full steam ahead.

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Maddie (my daughter) is standing were I stood as a kid for 10 hours a day. It was great, a lot or debris would be thrown at me why the jet cars ran.
It’s been a while since he last drove his Alcohol Dragster, so over Memorial Day weekend we went to Union Grove, Wis., home of the world-famous Great Lakes Dragaway and he impressed the heck out of me. He had great throttle control in the burnout and made nice straight passes down the quarter-mile. He also dove under his Alcohol Dragster to check bearings and that is just plain cool.

On the last warm up, we discovered the tachometer did not work and Tony Smith (very long-time team member) said to him, “Jay Payne doesn’t need a tach, why do you?” I said the only difference is my dad only makes four passes a year and Jay makes hundreds a year. I guess it’s like riding a bike and my dad proved he didn’t need a stinkin’ tach either.

It was great to bring the alcohol car out of retirement and see my dad smile from ear to ear when we went to pick him up at the top end. He still has the fire of a 30-year-old and I often tell him that he will outlive everyone his age. He continues to get up every morning and have a list of things to do a mile long; he does more in one day than most people do in two. That will keep him going strong for many more years to come. Drag racing keeps people young and living long lives — just take a look at the Chris “The Greek” Karamesines.

Going to Union Grove was a great time, but it gave me more appreciation for what our team has accomplished. There is nothing like running a Top Fuel dragster in front of 100,000 fans. The power is awesome and the concussion on your body is spectacular.

All the effort our team pours into our PEAK Motor Oil Top Fueler is starting to pay dividends. It is only a matter of time until we win a Wally. The win will not come because we lucked through all four rounds, but because we are good and deserve it!

I have been hard at work with PEAK, Herculiner and other current and potential marketing partners more in the past year than I have in the past 30 years. My goal is to give everyone on our team an opportunity to show the drag racing world what we are capable of. Racing once every two months is not conducive to success and we need to race more often.

Thank you for spending your time reading this blog. I am going to use my HTP welder, fill my car with PEAK products, apply some Herculiner bedliner to our dually, put up some Indak LED lights in the shop, then go to the golf course to use my new “ZIZ” Titleist balls that golf professional Kit DeAndre sent me.

One more thought, as I type this I am watching the Indy 500. It is a great American race, but where did all the American drivers go?

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

God bless!