IRL: Darrell Soppe Honored at Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS, Sept. 24 - Darrell Soppe, team manager of Harrington Motorsports' CertainTeed Dallara Aurora ...

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 24 - Darrell Soppe, team manager of Harrington Motorsports' CertainTeed Dallara Aurora #66 team, was chosen as the team manager on the Snap-On/CAM All-Star Indy Racing League (IRL) Team for 1999 by the Championship Association of Mechanics (CAM) at the group's 1999 awards party Thursday night at the Shelby American facility at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Soppe received $1,000 in tools along with being honored by his peers. The All-Star Team consists of an imaginary pit crew of the very best of the Indy Racing League. Along with the team manager position, the team recognizes the positions of chief mechanic, four other mechanics, a gearbox specialist, a fabricator, a data/engineering specialist, a shock specialist, a tire specialist and a transport driver. Soppe leads the crew of Harrington Motorsports, a team owned by Gene Harrington. It was formed over the Christmas holidays and it is in its first year of Pep Boys IRL competition. Its driver, Scott Harrington, currently leads the Sprint PCS Rookie of the Year point standings and has finished sixth in his last two races. "It doesn't surprise me that Darrell was chosen for this honor; obviously other people appreciate the job that he does almost as much as I do," Harrington said. "It's not only a privilege to work with Darrell, but as far as I'm concerned the entire CertainTeed team is an All-Star team. They're the best guys out there." Soppe has an impressive resume. He worked for Penske Motorsports from 1975 to 1980, and he was part of the team which helped Rick Mears win both the Indy 500 and the championship in 1979. He was a crew chief for Danny Ongais and Johnny Rutherford before moving to Newman-Haas, where he helped Mario Andretti win the 1984 championship. He also worked with Arie Luyendyk briefly. He helped Gary Bettenhausen become the fastest qualifier at Indy in 1991, although that occurred on the second day of qualifying instead of the first so they didn't get the pole. Soppe also worked with Al Unser Sr. in the early '90s, and he's proud of his role in helping to develop Buick's engine program when it was involved in Indy car racing. Soppe was born in Carol, Iowa. He grew up in San Diego and came to Indianapolis for the first time at the age of 22. Then he moved to Reading, Pa., to work for Penske Motorsports for five years. Then it was back to Indianapolis before moving to Santa Ana, Calif., for two years. Another stint in Indianapolis was next followed by moves to Midland, Texas and Chicago. Another move to Indianapolis preceded his moving to Phoenix, where he lives today with his wife and daughter when he isn't in Indianapolis. CAM members come from the ranks of the IRL, Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), Indy Lights and Toyota Atlantic teams.

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Series INDYCAR