Accomplished SCCA autocross racer Danny Popp has had a great year, winning several big competitions in 2013 with his Holley EFI equipped 1972 Corvette. Popp was crowned 2013 Holley LS Fest Grand Champion after taking top honors September 6-8th at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, KY. Popp also won the Goodguys AutoCross Championship, November 15th-17th at the Goodguys Southwest Nationals, and earned the title of Goodguys AutoCrosser of the Year.
Although he is one of the most competitive autocross racers around, earning 13 SCCA and NSA championships throughout his 27 year career, Popp is willing to offer tips and instruct other autocross participants. During the Holley LS Fest, he provided helpful tips and tricks top participants before the autocross and 3s challenge. “These two events demand the most from the driver and car combinations,” says Popp. ” I love to teach, instruct and help participants learn to drive technically first, and then fast.” His only regret after winning the competition at the LS Fest, was not getting any formal time to ride with drivers to further instruct and build their confidence.
Autocross racing has always been a family affair for Popp. He grew up in parking lots watching his father compete and couldn’t wait to start racing himself when he turned 16. The ’72 Corvette has been in the Popp family for over 40 years and holds a lot of memories, national championships, race wins, and heritage under the hood. While much of the body remains stock, a 550 hp Lingenfelter LS7 with Holley EFI now resides under the hood. The engine uses Hooker LS headers, a custom side exhaust, a period correct Muncie M21 and a stock Corvette rear differential with 4.11 gears. Suspension mods include VanSteel front and rear control arms, JRi coil-over shocks and Addco anti-sway bars. The Forgeline GA3r wheels and BFGoodrich Rival tires put the power on the pavement while the Wilwood brakes (6 piston front and , 4 piston rear) keep it all under control.
In addition to taking championships at Holley’s LS Fest and at Goodguys, Popp participated in and won a variety of other events this year including the Heidts Performance Challenge, Motorstate Challenge, GoodGuys Columbus StreetMachine, GoodGuys Indy ProClass , and Optima OUSCI. Popp was also runner up at the Popular Hot Rodding Muscle Car of the Year Shootout and took third place overall at the Optima OUSCI.
With a cool Vette that seems like it’s glued to the pavement, Popp racing career continues to look promising. Yet he understands that none of it is possible without the help and support of family, friends and sponsors. “I really want to acknowledge the whole RAFT Motorsports network of sponsors and affiliates,” says Popp. “Without the help of people like Holley, BFG, Lingenfelter, VanSteel, Forgeline, JRi, Hooker Headers, Wilwood, McCluskey Chevrolet, and Vetteworks, it would be much more difficult to win and be as competitive as we are now.”