NHRA Top Fuel team owner Dexter Tuttle is enlisting the help of drag racing veterans Jim Head and Johnny West to assist driver J.R. Todd and the SKULL Shine crew.


Stunned by the defection of Jimmy Walsh and Danny DeGennaro two days ago, Tuttle said Thursday

Head will serve as an interim consultant until a permanent crew chief replacement is secured while West has been hired to oversee daily race-car preparations at Tuttle Motorsports. 


Head is a longtime driver/owner currently campaigning in Funny Car. “Dexter and I have been friends for many years and I am willing to help him through this transition period,” said Head, who is currently 10th in Funny Car points.

“I want to thank Jim and Johnny for moving so quickly to help our team,” Tuttle said.  “We have been fortunate because there is a two-week break in the schedule right now.  That gives us time to reorganize and be ready for Gainesville (Fla., site of the ACDelco Nationals, March 16-18). 


“I also want to thank Evan Knoll and Latrell Preston of SKULL Shine and Torco Racing Fuels and all of the racers and fans for their support.”


West has a vast background in the sport.  He has tuned nitromethane-fueled race cars besides working with teams’ daily operations.


Todd, the 2006 rookie of the year and winner of the Winternationals last month, is third in Top Fuel points with 147 following the first two races in NHRA’s restructured Chase to the Championship that locks in the top eight drivers after the 17th event.