IRL: Darrell Soppe Joins Harrington Motorsports

Soppe Joins Harrington Motorsports as Engineer and Crew Chief INDIANAPOLIS, April 9 - Harrington Motorsports owner Gene Harrington announced today that noted engineer Darrell Soppe has signed on with his Pep Boys Indy Racing League (IRL)...

Soppe Joins Harrington Motorsports as Engineer and Crew Chief

INDIANAPOLIS, April 9 - Harrington Motorsports owner Gene Harrington announced today that noted engineer Darrell Soppe has signed on with his Pep Boys Indy Racing League (IRL) team as its full-time engineer and crew chief. Soppe had been working with the team on a consultant basis for the last two months, and he was on board March 28 when its driver, Scott Harrington, qualified eighth and finished fifth in the MCI WorldCom 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Soppe's involvement with Harrington Motorsports is an important step forward for the team. Harrington Motorsports was formed over the Christmas holidays, but in that short time span it has already become a major player in the Pep Boys IRL series. The Harringtons have been able to accomplish this primarily because they have been involved in the sport for years. Their reputation, experience and contacts have allowed them to attract top people immediately and assemble a team that many insiders say is one to watch. The hiring of Soppe only strengthens that position. "I'm ecstatic that Darrell is on board," said Scott Harrington. "The guy is as good as they come, and we're fortunate to get him for the whole season." 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, 48, 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 5-year-old daughter when he isn't in Indianapolis.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Andretti , Rick Mears , Danny Ongais , Scott Harrington , Johnny Rutherford