Pappas (shown in 2002) hopes for a long-term stint with INDYCAR. Getty Images

Bill Pappas heads to INDYCAR with long-term strategy, goals

Leave a comment

Trying to keep track of Bill Pappas’ resume in recent years has been like trying to keep track of Lady Gaga’s outfits.

You know they’re a talented individual, but you never knew from day-to-day what shirt they’d be wearing.

Pappas may be a 32-year veteran in racing but in the last several years he’s been through a variety of different teams and roles.

His greatest recent sustained success came with the late Justin Wilson at Dale Coyne Racing, but after 2013, Pappas went to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing where he only was for one year.

Last year, he was technical director for KV Racing Technology, and was also out after one year. He’s also spent a bit of time with RSR Racing, when Paul Gentilozzi’s team fielded an Oreca FLM09 car in the IMSA championship, in the Prototype Challenge class.

As Pappas heads into a series sanctioning body side, named Monday as INDYCAR’s Vice President of Competition, Race Engineering, he’s doing it with a longer-term approach.

“I look at it as I have had a great opportunity to be part of teams that have both been Honda- and Chevy-powered, so I think I have experience in understanding the needs of both sides,” Pappas told reporters during an INDYCAR conference call this afternoon.

“As far as me personally, I’ve been doing this close to 32 years. I’ve experienced a lot of success with some really great teams.

“At this point in my career, it is a long-term commitment. I’d like to be part of the future of IndyCar racing. There’s no better way than getting your feet in the trenches with the series to move it forward. Rather than pointing fingers, I want to be part of the solution.”

He’s also going to need to avoid the trap that befell his former boss Derrick Walker before him. Walker and Pappas worked together in the late 1990s with Gil de Ferran in the CART series.

Walker was hailed when hired by INDYCAR to the role of President of Competition and Operations, a role now held by Jay Frye after Walker left the series at the end of 2015. But while Walker had his successes, making it in the sometimes testy and fiery Verizon IndyCar Series paddock was harder to do.

“I’m just the same guy yesterday, the day before, a year ago. I’m just a racer. I’m just looking at it now from how we make it better, more consistent for everybody,” Pappas explained.

Frye, who along with Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles (head of INDYCAR parent company), also explained what they like about Pappas for this new role.

“In the whole technical area, we thought we had a unique opportunity to make a change that would do just that, as Bill Pappas became available to us,” Miles said.

“Forget the fact that we have the same high school alma mater here in Indianapolis; that’s a joke, but it’s true. But Bill has obviously earned his stripes over the years, winning the Indianapolis 500 in 2000 and serving ably in technical leadership for a number of teams.

“So for us, as we think about where we are, the need to do better as we implement changes to the car that we have, the need to think in earnest about what the future of the car will be, when there will be a new car, what that could involve.

“To have somebody who comes to us straight from the paddock with all his team experience, who is totally current, is important.”

Frye added, “Bill is certainly a racer. We saw an immediate opportunity to make a personnel move that would make things stronger. We jumped on it. We couldn’t be more excited about this.

“Bill and I have met and talked extensively over the last two or three weeks. I think the philosophy and direction and processes and procedures we discussed were very much in line.”

Pappas replaces Will Phillips, whose next step in his own career is yet to be revealed.

Juan Pablo Montoya immediately hailed Pappas’ new role; the two worked together at Target Chip Ganassi Racing when Montoya won the 2000 Indianapolis 500.

Adam Cianciarulo sweeps to second straight Pro Motocross 450 win

Motocross Spring Creek Cianciarulo
Align Media
Leave a comment

Adam Cianciarulo (450) and Dylan Ferrandis (250) swept both motos of their divisions Saturday in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship event at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota, significantly impacting the points standings.

After scoring his first career victory Sept. 8 at RedBud, Cianciarulo made it two consecutive victories on his Monster Energy Kawasaki. He won the first moto by 1.7 seconds over Blake Baggett and the second moto by 2.7 seconds over Baggett.

“Man, what a dream come true,” Cianciarulo said. “I really wanted to go 1-1 last round at RedBud and had that silly mistake. Today, we got the job done and made it happen. Two consecutive victories in the 450 Class just feels really good. I just want to keep the ball rolling.”

With three rounds remaining, Cianciarulo is ranked second in the standings at a 15-point deficit to Zach Osborne, who won three of the first five rounds.

In the 250 standings, Dylan Ferrandis jumped ahead of Jeremy Martin (who won three consecutive events earlier in the season) by three points (257-254).

Dylan Ferrandis swept both motos for his second win of the season in the 250 class (Align Media).

Ferrandis beat third-ranked RJ Hampshire in the first moto and nipping Martin by 0.4 seconds in the second.

“That was a difficult race in the second moto and the pressure was on,” Ferrandis said. “It was really good for me to have that battle and come out on top in the second moto. The championship is really close and I think that we were able to put on a good show for everyone today. Jeremy [Martin] and I have a good relationship I think and we congratulated each other and talked about the battle after the race.”

NEXT: The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will hold its seventh round Sept. 26 with the Geico Motorcycle WW Ranch National at Jacksonville, Florida.


RESULTS

Thor Spring Creek National (Spring Creek MX Park, Millville, Minnesota)

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)

  1. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (1-1)
  2. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (2-2)
  3. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (5-4)
  4. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (8-3)
  5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (6-5)
  6. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (3-10)
  7. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (7-6)
  8. Joey Savatgy, , Suzuki (9-7)
  9. Max Anstie, United Kingdom, Suzuki (10-8)
  10. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (4-16)

450 Class Championship Standings

  1. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 235
  2. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 220
  3. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 215
  4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 196
  5. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 194
  6. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 190
  7. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 173
  8. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda – 141
  9. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha – 134
  10. Joey Savatgy, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki – 122

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-1)
  2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (5-2)
  3. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki (4-4)
  4. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (3-6)
  5. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (9-3)
  6. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (2-11)
  7. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (7-5)
  8. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Honda (12-8)
  9. Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki (11-9)
  10. Derek Drake, San Luis Obispo, Calif., KTM (8-12)

250 Class Championship Standings

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 257
  2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 254
  3. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 202
  4. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki – 194
  5. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Yamaha – 186
  6. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 164
  7. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 162
  8. Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki – 140
  9. Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki – 123
  10. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., KTM – 114
Adam Cianciarulo won the holeshot in both motos at Spring Creek (Align Media).