Danny Popp Wins Shootout, Named Goodguys AutoCrosser of the Year

-Your Goodguys 2013 AutoCrosser of the Year - Danny Popp 1972 Corvette

-Your Goodguys 2013 AutoCrosser of the Year – Danny Popp 1972 Corvette

Scottsdale, AZ – Cincinnati, Ohio’s Danny Popp was born to AutoCross. Raised in a racing family, Popp began soloing at SCCA AutoCross events at the tender age of 16. He hasn’t looked back since. In a career that’s spanned 27 years he’s racked up 13 national championships in SCCA and NASA AutoCross racing. Proving he can get it done on the “big course” as well, Popp was a popular winner of the 2011 Optima Batteries Ultimate Street Car Invitational event at Las Vegas.

He can now add another championship trophy to his mantle. On a perfect 70-degree afternoon at Westworld in Scottsdale, Arizona this past weekend, Popp proved once again he’s the nation’s top AutoCross driver by steering his family’s 1972 Corvette to a hard-fought win in the first-ever Goodguys  AutoCross Finals Shootout event.

This was no ordinary AutoCross. This was a 24-car field of the top cone chasers in the country. The lineup included past SCCA Solo Champions Mary Pozzi, Mike Maier, Jim McKamey, Brian Hobaugh (fresh off a win in the 2013 OUSCI), McGregor, Voelkel – the who’s who was all in here in Scottsdale.

Popp’s run to victory wasn’t easy. He started off slow (for him) during Friday’s qualifications and stayed up into the wee hours of the morning, welding and thrashing on his mighty Corvette. His elimination runs got gradually quicker and he soon became the quickest car on race day clicking off an event-best 64.669 in the semi-finals.

After four grueling rounds of eliminations, his final round opponent turned out to be none other than nemesis and fellow fast Corvette guy Brian Hobaugh. These two have a long standing kinship and have raced each other in the past which you can read about here.

As the two titans faced off in the final, Popp went out first, bobbing weaving and thundering to a 64.914. With the imposing number posted on the board, Hobaugh strapped in his family’s ’65 Corvette and gave it his all. His fate was sealed on a tight turn when an orange cone was flung skyward, spelling certain defeat (hitting a cone is a costly 1 second penalty in Goodguys AutoCross competition). Like a true champion, Hobaugh legged it out to a valiant 66.362 run.

Ever the enthusiastic racer, Popp was emotional in the winner’s circle. “I know my mom Judy was looking on today” he said. “My mom and dad (Herb Popp) raised me at the track. My dad bought this Corvette over 40 years ago and I still get to drive it. As a young kid, I just knew I wanted to race AutoCross for the rest of my life. And today we got it done. This was the hardest field I’ve ever raced. There has to be over 40 SCCA national championships combined with all these drivers here today. I couldn’t be happier”

Popp’s menacing blue Corvette features a destroked Lingenfelter-built LS7 which pumps out 550 rear wheel horsepower. The car uses Vansteel Corvette suspension with JRi shocks, Forgeline GA3R 18-inch wheels, 6-piston and 4-piston Wilwood brakes and BF Goodrich “Rival” tires

By winning the event, Popp was named Goodguys 2013 AutoCrosser of the Year and in addition to the $3,000 winner’s check, he’ll receive a custom toolbox from Snap-on Tools and tires from BF Goodrich.

Goodguys 2013 AutoCross Finals Shootout Elimination Results:

Round 1 Eliminations
Jason Brady, ‘68 Chevy Camaro  71.018
Tom McBride, ‘67 Chevy Camaro 70.438

Brett Campbell, 68 Chevy Camaro 72.297
Mike Maier ’66 Ford Mustang, 67.207

Jeff Schwartz, 65 Pontiac Tempest  72.657
Roger Burman, ’70 Chevy Camaro  68.859

Tim McGilton, 70 Chevy Camaro  70.214
Danny Popp, ’72 Corvette  65.135

Cheryl Herrick, ’67 Chevy Nova 71.984
Larry Woo’68 Chevy Camaro  69.864

Chris Smith, ‘67 Chevy C-10   69.89
Mary Pozzi, ‘72 Chevy Camaro  67.013

Josh Leisinger, ’70 Chevy C-10 73.459
Bob Pelikan, 27 Ford T-Bucke 70.577

Matt Alcala, 69 Chevy Camaro  69.49
Jim McKamey, ’66 Ford Cobra 66.688

Deb McGilton, 69 Chevy Camaro  72.595
Bret Voelkel, ‘33 Ford Coupe  68.67

Mike DuSold, 67 Chevy Camaro 70.993
Rob MacGregor, ’69 Chevy C-10  68.16

Jimi Day, ’69 AMX  74.269
Ryan Mathews, ’70 Camaro  66.784

Stacy Tucker, ’69 Chevy Camaro  69.864
Brian Hobaugh, ’65 Corvette 65.297

Round 2 Eliminations
Tom McBride 70.023
Mike Maier 68.172

Roger Burman 68.426
Danny Popp 66.006

Larry Woo 70.004
Mary Pozzi 67.093

Bob Pelikan 73.085
Jim Mckamey 65.678

Bret Voelkel 66.98
Rob MacGregor 67.007

Ryan Mathews 66.791
Brian Hobaugh 65.89

Round 3 Eliminations
Mike Maier 67.53
Danny Popp 66.349

Mary Pozzi 68.564
Jim Mckamey 65.713

Bret Voelkel 68.082
Brian Hobaugh 65.956

Round 4 Eliminations
Danny Popp 64.669
Jim Mckamey 68.278

Brian Hobaugh – bye

Round 5 Eliminations
Winner: Danny Popp 64.914
Runner Up: Brian Hobaugh 66.362

-Danny Popp

-Danny Popp

-Danny Popp and runner-up Brian Hobaugh lead the winner's circle photo

-Danny Popp and runner-up Brian Hobaugh lead the winner’s circle photo

-Runner up Brian Hobaugh

-Runner up Brian Hobaugh

-3rd place finisher Jim McKamey

-3rd place finisher Jim McKamey

-4th place finisher Mary Pozzi

-4th place finisher Mary Pozzi

-Bret Voelkel

-Bret Voelkel

-Mike Maier

-Mike Maier

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