Dexter Tuttle has been on the receiving end of Evan
Knoll’s drag racing benevolence and is very appreciative.
If Knoll had not stepped up early in the 2006 season,
J.R. Todd, Tuttle’s unheralded Top Fuel driver, might not have been the
unanimous rookie of the year selection.
Todd won three times, becoming a fan and media favorite along the
It was a storybook ending to a season that was supposed
to last only 10-14 races.
“We weren’t chasing an Evan Knoll sponsorship, he just called us,” Tuttle
recalled. “He had a good relationship with (then crew chief) Jimmy Walsh and
Evan called after we didn’t qualify at Phoenix – one of the two times we didn’t
qualify in two years. He said, ‘What can
I do to help you,’ and that’s how our deal started.”
The Skull Shine/Torco Racing Fuels sponsorship continued
through the 2007 season, with Todd winning five races overall and finishing
eighth and seventh respectively in NHRA/Powerade Series standings.