Eddie Knox

Mr. Knox Goes to Asphalt


Words by Brian Losness

Photos by Tim Marshall and James Drew


There are times in your life when you hear some news or intake a piece of information and it strikes a chord in your soul. When I was told that one of the Kings of the Liquid Quarter Mile would be making a foray into nostalgia drag racing, I got that same kind of feeling.


Eddie Knox, the owner of the “Problem Child”, one of the most renowned Top

Fuel Hydros ever in existence is going to go nostalgia funny car racing.


“I went with my buddy Larry Bass and Brad Thompson last year to the March Meet to help Thompson run his rear engine nostalgia top fuel car. We ended up winning the event, ’cause we didn’t suck as bad as everybody else,” said Knox laughing.


“I had never started a nitro car before, ’cause on a boat the driver has control. So, my one job they said all I had to do is pull the wires when they spin the motor over. Simple enough,” Knox continued. “So, they spin the motor over and its spinning, and I’m standing there, and they start looking at me and I’m like… oh yeah, pull the wires. What do I do with them?  Put them in your pocket, yeah right, got it.


“The thing starts and I go to step back and almost fall over ’cause my shoes are sticking to the track,” he says with a laugh.


At the end of the day Knox revealed that he had such a good time and enjoyed the whole thing about nostalgia racing he just knew he had to be involved. He enjoys the fact that when it is race time everybody is working to beat their competition, but when the cars get put away, BBQ and beer break out and it’s about enjoying the company of everybody there.


So later on this year Knox, who owned two Top Fuel Hydros the “Problem Child” and its “Evil Twin,” decided to join the AA Funny Car ranks.


(James Drew file photo)“I had the two boats; we were running the “Problem Child” and the other one sparingly. The Lucas Oil deal had cancelled some races in the middle of the season and I wasn’t sure where that was going. Then I got a call from Mark Porter who had purchased a car from Jason Rupert, the ‘Black Plague.’”


Porter called Knox about buying the Evil Twin and mentioned that he had a nostalgia funny car that he was looking to sell so he could purchase the boat from Knox.


Knox made the suggestion that they should just trade the boat for the car. Porter went for it and now Knox is the owner of a nostalgia funny car. He realizes that there is going to be a learning curve to it.


“We have low expectations and high hopes,” states Knox with a chuckle.


Knox isn’t completely foreign to dry land however, as the guy he has tapped to drive the car has extensive experience on terra firma, just not asphalt. Billy Morris is a multi-time champ in the sand and looks forward to making his mark on the asphalt. Knox and team have helped Billy out for a few years in the sand.


Knox just won’t be a passive owner in this deal either. “I look to take a couple of spins in the car once we get it sorted out.”


Right now Knox is not letting any grass grow under his feet.


“We have the car stripped down and have started going over it. Chris from the NHRA is going to come over and certify the chassis, we have sent a bunch of stuff out to be certified as well like the can and belts. Lot of this we didn’t have to do with the boat, but rules are rules and we follow the rules.”


He also commented that “Once everything is off one of these cars there really isn’t much left” then he laughs.


The excitement in Knox’s voice is palpable as he speaks about this project. Whether it is about getting stuff together or thinking about how to paint the body.


“I haven’t been this excited about racing in a long, long time, man,” states Knox. “I see nostalgia racing having the vibe that the sand or the boats have, and I like that.”


He also mentioned that he loves to see those funny cars lined up in the staging lands and, as he puts it, “with their hoods up”, and he just wants to be a part of that.


Knox feels he is a natural at marketing and he has talked to his current sponsors, many of whom share his enthusiasm. He won’t completely quit boat racing but if he can find a way to get nostalgia racing some television coverage, that might be a different story.


Being around Knox is like being around an in-control John Force. Knox’s enthusiasm is very contagious and he is genuinely happy to be a part of nostalgia racing.


“I’m gonna be leaning on my friends like Jon Wurtz and Donnie Couch for advice,” he says “’cause we plan on racing hard and having a good time.”


Eddie Knox is going to be a shot in the arm for nostalgia racing. 



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