For the last two seasons, Todd “King Tut” Tutterow has raced as a teammate to Kurt Steding under the P2 Racing umbrella in PDRA Pro Boost competition. The arrangement has worked well, as Tutterow finished third in points in 2021 and secured his second Pro Boost world championship in 2022. Steding has also claimed wins and No. 1 qualifier awards as he’s ramped up his own program.
After winning the championship last fall, Tutterow revealed his intentions to step back from full-time competition this season to devote more attention to Steding and his numerous other Wyo Motorsports customers.
Even though Tutterow is on site at the Summit Racing Equipment PDRA East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech at GALOT Motorsports Park tuning Steding’s screw-blown P2 Contracting Camaro, rumors have swirled regarding his driving hiatus. The multi-time world champion is determined to shut down those rumors.
“Everybody’s asking about why I ain’t racing,” Tutterow said. “Part of it is business. I’ve got a lot of customers out here. I’m chasing my tail keeping up with all these cars. The other issue I have is I’m going to have to have neck surgery sometime. Everybody knows I’m stiff-necked. Part of it is I’ve got a pinched nerve or something. I’ve got numbness in my hand and stuff, so I’ve got to do something about that. Whenever I have that done, I’m sure I won’t be able to just jump right back in the car, so not chasing a points series ain’t a big deal.
“We’re not doing it for money reasons whatsoever,” Tutterow asserted. “Ain’t nothing between me and Kurt or nothing. Just trying to clear the air on all that. It’s my decision.”
“We just ordered a new rig and another car’s on its way,” Steding added. “There’s no money issues.”
In fact, Steding was prepared to support Tutterow in his championship defense and continue running as a two-car team.
“Two weeks before this race,” Steding started, “I actually called Todd and said, ‘You know, Todd, I want to do the two-car thing.’ He said, ‘I can’t.’”
Tutterow sold the screw-blown engine combination out of his championship-winning Camaro, and the car itself is in the process of being sold. He’s ordering a new car to replace it, but whether he races it or turn-keys it to sell remains to be seen.
In the meantime, Tutterow is focusing on leading Steding to his first championship and the team’s second.
“If I can cut one car out of the situation, I’d do better. I know I can,” Tutterow said. “So that’s what I want to do. I want to dominate this thing.”
Not only does running one car free up Tutterow’s attention, but it also frees up the rest of the P2 Racing team, which includes Tutterow’s longtime right-hand man, Brad Schmidt, and Todd’s son, Ty.
“We were a two-car team with good help, but if both cars break, that’d be a disaster, right?” Tutterow said. “If one car breaks, we can about do anything we want to with one car.”
Tutterow was tuning eight different cars at the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod presented by J&A Service at Bradenton Motorsports Park earlier this month. Steding reached the $100,000 final round and lost by just thousandths of a second. Earlier in the day, in the third of five rounds, he defeated Tutterow for the first time.
While Steding seems to genuinely miss the two-car arrangement, he appreciates Tutterow’s intentions and is excited to see how the season plays out.
“I’m ready to go. I’m looking for a championship, of course, like all the other guys here,” Steding said. “We have the same crew, it’s nice and relaxed, but it was really nice for [Tutterow] to run my flag on the car. I think Todd just thought it was time to focus on my car, which is really nice. He is a standup guy. He would take the tires off his car and put them on mine if there was something wrong.”
The P2 Racing team will return to a two-car program later this season when Steding’s son, Ethan, debuts his new screw-blown Camaro in Pro Street. They also run two Jr. Dragsters, one in Pro Jr. Dragster with Ethan driving and one in Top Jr. Dragster with Steding’s daughter, Lily, driving.
“Ethan’s going to be coming out here in mid-summer in his new car,” Steding said. “We’re really looking forward to it. I could tell going into this season, he’s doing more with his car, more with my car, and I think it’s just going to make him a good young man.”
Steding laid down a 3.662-second pass at 208.49 MPH in the opening qualifying session at the East Coast Nationals. Two more sessions are scheduled Friday night, with eliminations following on Saturday.