Scottsdale, AZ - Back in 1970s and 80s SCCA and NCCC AutoCross competition, the families of Ohio’s Herb Popp and California’s Steve Hobaugh lived thousands of miles apart but traveled similar paths. Both ran vintage Corvette’s, both were fast and both were always at the top of the field in Solo competition. Between them, they won a bunch of division and regional titles. Always at their sides were their young sons Brian (Hobaugh) and Danny (Popp).
The cars (Hobaugh’s red ’65 ‘Vette and Popp’s blue ’72) were eventually mothballed as both families pursued newer AutoCross machinery and other interests. As the decades went by, those two young boys who grew up spending their weekends in cone-strewn parking lots honed their fathers’ bygone craft becoming AutoCross titans in their own right. As interest in vintage Muscle Cars and Pro-Touring machines heightened in the new millennium along with the emergence of the Goodguys AutoCross program, both Popp and Hobaugh remade their father’s machines into modern day menaces.
Both Corvettes were unearthed from their respective garages. Suspensions were updated, motors tuned and freshened and paint was rubbed out as the two second generation hot shoes sought to continue the family legacy in original iron, or in this case, fiberglass.
On November 16th atop a smooth parking lot at Westworld in Scottsdale, Arizona, the original Hobaugh and Popp family Corvettes will lock horns for the first time in nearly 20 years, going toe to toe as they seek to beat out a national field of the country’s quickest Muscle Cars.
The occasion? The 1st annual Goodguys AutoCross Finals Shootout. The Shootout’s 24-car field is deep and contentious, featuring the quickest cars from every Goodguys National AutoCross event of the year, plus the 9-quickest PRO class drivers.
“He and I are friends,” Danny Popp said of his cross-country Corvette rival Brian Hobaugh. “It’s a special thing that our two Corvettes are getting back together after nearly 20 years. He and I have been doing this for a long time. We’re both fierce competitors.” In their one and only head to head meeting in their father’s Corvettes (during the SCCA Solo National Championships event in 1996), Popp was fortunate enough to come out on top with Hobaugh finishing a close second.
The Goodguys Shootout field is full of hard chargers. Popp admitted both he and Hobaugh will have their hands more than full. “This event is going to be a full-on dogfight, one the fans won’t soon forget” he said. “You’ve got 11-time SCCA Solo Champion Mary Pozzi and 6-time Champion Mike Maier who also raced midgets. Then you’ve got all these Goodguys Champions – guys like Brett Voekel of Ridetech, Rob McGregor of No Limit Engineering , Ryan Matthews of Detroit Speed along event winners and fast guys like Larry Woo and so many others. Collectively between Mary Pozzi, Mike Maier, Brian Hobaugh and myself, there are nearly 25 SCCA Solo National Championships. It’s going to be the biggest AutoCross Shootout I can remember.”
The action gets started Friday, November 15th as practice runs commence for the entire field. Four slots in the 24-car field will be available for competitors to race their way into Saturday’s Shootout. Goodguys will pay the top four finishers in the ‘Shootout with $3000.00 going to the winner, $1250.00 going to the runner-up, $500.00 going to 3rd place and $250.00 going to 4th place. The winner will also receive a customized Snap-on Tool Box (Valued at $7000.00), a gorgeous billet aluminum trophy as well as being named one of the year-end Goodguys Terrific Twelve award winners. BF Goodrich will also hand out gift certificates for a set of new tires to the top four finishers.
The Goodguys AutoCross Finals Shootout starts Saturday, November 16th @ 9am. For a complete list of entrants, event rules and schedule, click here